New Name Surfaces in Madeleine McCann Case

2 witnesses identify same person after image release
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2013 11:12 AM CDT
New Name Surfaces in Madeleine McCann Case
This undated image shows missing British girl Madeleine McCann before she went missing from a Portuguese holiday complex on Thursday, May 3, 2007.   (AP Photo/London Metropolitan Police)

After airing computer-generated images of a possible figure in the Madeleine McCann case on a BBC show last night, London police have fielded more than 700 calls and 200 emails regarding the missing British girl, they say in a statement. What's more, two witnesses offered the same name after viewing the images, NBC News reports. Police say he was apparently spotted carrying a child near the Portugal resort where Madeleine went missing, and their focus on him represents a sea change in the investigation.

A sighting at 9:15pm on the evening in question, by a friend of the McCanns, of a man and child had long been the investigation's center, but police now believe the man was a British tourist carrying his own child, reports the Independent. Now, the focus is on the man shown in the new images, who was spotted at 10pm walking toward the beach near the McCanns' apartment; an Irish family says they saw him carrying a young girl, who may have been wearing PJs. (More on the new timeline here.) "We are extremely pleased with the response" to the televised call for information, says a detective. "Madeleine remains at the heart of everything we do." (More Madeleine McCann stories.)

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