A timeline of her disappearance


The disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been described as "the most reported missing person in modern history," and yet, almost 12 years later, it remains an unfathomable mystery. The three-year-old disappears from her Praia da Praia de Luz vacation apartment on the night of May 3, 2007, while her parents Kate and Gerry McCann were in the neighborhood with a group of friends. The unresolved case has since suppressed the nation and is now the center of a controversial eight-part Netflix series. The Disappearance Of Madeleine will mix new interviews with more than 40 contributors, 120 hours of interviews, archive news images and re-enactments, and has access to unprecedented testimonials from friends of the McCann family, investigators handling the case and from those who have become the subject of media speculation and rumor.

Kate and Gerry have distanced themselves from the production and have expressed their concern that the series "could potentially hinder the search for Madeleine." We take a look at the timeline of Madeleine's disappearance below:

May 3, 2007

Around 8.30 p.m. Kate and Gerry go out for dinner with friends at a tapas restaurant 55 meters from their apartment (via The Guardian). Around 9 o'clock Gerry checks the children and returns to the restaurant. At ten o'clock Kate goes to the apartment and discovers Madeleine missing. The friend of the McCanns, Jane Tanner, says that he had seen a man carrying a child earlier that evening. At 10:10 pm Gerry sends Matthew Oldfield to the resort reception to call the police and at 10:30 pm the resort activates the search protocol for missing children.

Missing Madeleine McCann

Handy Nice pictures

May 4, 2007

The Polícia Judiciária arrive after 1 hour and sniffer dogs are brought in. Police and volunteers search the village, the beach and the resort. Spanish and border police and airports are informed.

May 14, 2007

The British-Portuguese real estate advisor Robert Murat will be the first arguido [suspect] (through BBC). He lives with his mother in a villa 150 meters from McCanns & # 39; holiday apartment 5a. A Sunday mirror journalist tells the Portuguese police that he appeared and asked reporters many questions about the case. The police had registered him as an official interpreter because he said he wanted to help with their investigation. The police are searching his house. Murat denies any involvement in the disappearance of Madeleine.

Robert Murat leaves the Casa Liliana

Robert Murat in Portugal

26 May 2007

Holidaymakers from Praia da Luz Martin and Mary Smith tell the Portuguese police that they have seen a man sitting 500 meters from the McCanns apartment with a young girl in her pajamas to the beach.

30 May 2007

The McCanns visit the Pope after receiving a formal invitation from the Vatican. They are leaving their two year old twins, Sean and Amelie, in Portugal (via The Telegraph).

June 3, 2007

JK Rowling offers support to the McCann family. The Harry Potter author also continues to donate money to the Madeleine Fund (The Telegraph).

JK Rowling

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August 2007

Portuguese police "Abduction theory abandoned"[through[through[via[viaThe Sunday Times]and start a murder investigation.

September 7, 2007

Kate and Gerry McCann become & # 39; arguidos & # 39; made during the disappearance of Madeleine during interrogation.

September 9, 2007

Despite their & # 39; arguidos & # 39; status, the McCanns are allowed to return to the UK. They fly back to Great Britain with Sean and Amelie[[[[BBC]. Gerry tells the media: "We want the twins, to the extent reasonably possible, to live a normal life in their home country, and to consider the events of recent days that have been so deeply troubling. We want to say that we don't except to say this: we have not played any role in the disappearance of our dear daughter, Madeleine. & # 39;

September 21, 2007

The head of the Portuguese police association Carlos Anjos accuses Kate and Gerry of preventing the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine[through[through[via[viaThe Telegraph]. "They are arguidos, a status that allows them to remain silent and they have already said they will no longer make any statements," Anjos tells reporters. The spokesman for the McCanns Clarence Mitchell rejects the claim that the McCanns use their right to remain silent to impede cooperation with the police.

October 2, 2007

Chief Inspector Gonçalo Amaral is removed from the case after he has criticized the British police in a Portuguese tabloid newspaper. Amaral criticized the decision by the British police to investigate an e-mail on the Prince Charles website claiming that Madeleine had been abducted by a former Ocean Club employee at Praia da Luz, where the family was staying[[[[The Guardian].

Goncalo Amaral, former Policia Judiciaria (Crime Police)

Goncalo Amaral
AFPGetty Images

He also accused British detectives of investigating leads that the McCanns wanted to follow up.

March 19, 2008

Kate and Gerry McCann accept £ 550,000 in defamation and apologies to the Express Newspapers front for allegations that they were responsible for Madeleine's death.

July 21, 2008

Portuguese authorities lift the & # 39; arguido & # 39; status of the McCanns and Robert Murat.

July 24, 2008

Detective Goncalo Amaral's book The truth of the lie has been published. He claims that Madeleine died in the vacation home when she disappeared. Amaral also appears in a Portuguese documentary in which he claims that the McCanns had hidden Madeleine's body. The McCanns strongly deny the allegations and say that Amaral's publication gives them the way and discourages their ongoing investigation (BBC).

May 1, 2009

Kate and Gerry McCann bring a computer-altered picture of what Madeleine would look like two years after her disappearance.

Madeleine McCann: a timeline of her disappearance

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12 May 2011

Kate McCann & # 39; s book about the disappearance of Madeleine is published on Madeleine & # 39; s eighth birthday.

May 2011

Under domestic secretary Theresa May, Scotland Yard launches an investigation, Operation Grange, with a team of 29 investigators and eight citizens (via Freedom of information request). Prime Minister David Cameron says Operation Grange will be funded by an emergency fund for home offices.

July 2013

Scotland Yard says it has "new evidence and new witnesses" in the case and opens a formal investigation into its disappearance (via BBC). The Met Police say they believe there is a chance that Madeleine can still live. According to police, they are investigating 38 "persons of interest", including 12 British citizens.

Gerry and Kate McCann launch their book & # 39; Madeleine & # 39;

Then KitwoodGetty images

October 2013

Scotland Yard and the BBC & # 39; s Crime watch carry out a reconstruction and detectives bring two e-fits of a man with a child in pajamas to the beach in Praia da Luz on the night Madeleine went missing. E-fits based on the Smiths testimony were originally made in 2008 by Oakley International, private investigators hired by the McCanns.

October 24, 2013

Portuguese police reopen the case after confirming a review of their original investigation discovered new lines of investigation.

January 2014

British detectives fly to Portugal to talk to local officers (via BBC) they are about to arrest the following claims. In the 17 days before Madeleine's disappearance, there had been two incidents in the McCanns block, one burglary and one attempted burglary. Police say the possibility that Madeleine was snatched by burglars as part of a broken burglary is a key role in investigation.


Kate and Gerry in 2014

March 2014

Scotland Yard launches new information on professions with a possible link to a series of twelve crimes that took place between 2004 and 2010, mostly in the off-season, where a male intruder had access to mainly holiday villas occupied by British families during a vacation in the western Algarve. In four cases between 2004 and 2006, the man abused 5 white girls, between 7 and 10 years old, while lying in their bed. On one of these occasions he attacked two girls in the same villa [Metropolitan Police].

June 2, 2014

The police searched undergrowth near Madeleine disappeared. Officers use dogs and "ground penetrating radar" to search the undergrowth for signs of disturbed earth (via BBC).

April 2015

Goncalo Amaral is ordered to pay Kate and Gerry McCann € 500,000 (£ 429,000) by a court in Lisbon for allegations he had made in his book, claiming that the McCanns had removed Madeleine's body (via The Guardian).

Madeleine McCann: a timeline of her disappearance

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October 2015

Scotland Yard confirms that they limit their investigation and reduce 29 officers to four. A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police says (via The Telegraph): "Although research lines still need to follow, the vast majority of Operation Grange's work has been completed."

April 2016

Secretary of State Theresa May grants British Police Operation Grange £ 95,000 to continue their investigation for another six months.

April 20, 2016

The defamation sentence of the former detective Goncalo Amaral is set aside by a court of appeal in Portugal (The Guardian).

February 2017

Kate and Gerry McCann are "disappointed" after the Portuguese Supreme Court dismissed their libel case against Goncalo Amaral. The McCanns had brought the case to the Supreme Court in Portugal, but it was rejected (BBC).

March 2017

The Home Office grants Operation Grange an additional £ 85,000 to continue the investigation from April to September.

April 25, 2017

Kate publishes an emotional message on the Facebook page of Official Find Madeleine Campaign almost ten years after Madeleine's disappearance. "Ten years – a terrible feature of time, stolen time," she writes.

Kate and Gerry McCann give an interview to the BBC to mark the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine McCann

Kate and Gerry mark the 10-year anniversary of the Madeleine disappearance
WPA pool Getty images

November 2018

Police investigating Madeleine's disappearance will receive an additional £ 150,000 to continue the investigation. It is the newest in a series of six-month extensions that cost Operation Grange an estimated £ 11.75 million BBC reports.

March 2019

Kate and Gerry McCann say the Netflix documentary The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann can "hinder" the search for its potential.

March 15, 2019

Netflix & # 39; s eight-part documentary about Madeleine is released.You can watch the documentary, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, now on Netflix.