Madeleine McCann Case: Cops Eye Earlier Sex Attacks
Man broke into homes, got into bed with young girls: police
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2014 9:40 AM CDT
In this May 2, 2012 file photo, Kate and Gerry McCann pose with a missing poster of their daughter Madeleine.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan, File)
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(Newser) – Police are on the hunt for a suspect in Madeleine McCann's disappearance: a man with "a very, very unhealthy interest in young white female children." Officials now say a tanned, dark-haired man is suspected in a series of burglaries in Algarve, Portugal, near where the British child was taken in 2007. Of the 12 break-ins between 2004 and 2010, two occurred in Praia da Luz, where Madeleine was staying with her parents when she disappeared, four involved the sexual assault of five young female children aged seven to 10, and in six, the man sat on or got into bed with young girls, the Guardian reports.

Police don't have a name but describe the suspect as a man who speaks English slowly, with a foreign accent, and stays calm even when disturbed. The Daily Mail adds he has "unkempt hair" and "a pot belly" and was sometimes seen wearing a burgundy top with a white circle on the back. He attacks girls "whilst they are on holiday in their beds," the detective chief inspector said. And though he admits there are differences between the break-ins and Madeleine's case, "It is really critical for us to identify this offender and prove or disprove whether he was involved in Madeleine's disappearance." Click for more in the case.