true crime

The 13 suspects yet to be questioned in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.


In the 12 years since Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, little has been uncovered to decipher what actually happened to the toddler who vanished from a Portuguese hotel room without a trace.

It’s a story that has captured the world, becoming the most publicised missing person’s case in modern history, as distraught parents Kate and Gerry McCann continue their search for Maddie.

Last photo Madeleine McCann
The last known photo of Madeleine McCann, taken on the day she disappeared. Image via Channel 7.

On May 3, 2007, Maddie was sleeping in her family’s holiday apartment with her twin siblings, while her parents dined 55 metres away at a tapas bar in the complex with friends.


She was discovered missing by her mother, Kate McCann, late that evening during a routine check of the children.

kate mccann lindy chamberlain
Kate and Gerry McCann hold an age-progressed police image of their daughter Madeleine McCann. Image: Getty.

With the case thrust back into the headlines after the recent Netflix documentary, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, several theories into what happened to the little girl have emerged.

Now, Mirror Online reports police have a list of 13 suspects in connection with the crime. The publication reports all 13 are still on the loose.

Watch the trailer from the eight-part Netflix documentary released this year into the case of Madeleine McCann. Post continues after video.

Video by Netflix


The suspects are as follows:

Fake charity collectors

On the day Maddie vanished from her bed, two men posing as "bogus charity collectors" were spotted in the area, one of whom had knocked on the door of the McCanns' apartment that week.

He was believed to be aged 40 to 45.

The second, aged 25 to 30 at the time, had approached a nearby property mere hours before Maddie's disappearance.

A 'disturbing and dirty man'

According to a British grandmother who was holidaying with family in the Algarve for her 50th birthday, a "scruffy weirdo" was hanging around the apartment days before Maddie went missing.

Gail Cooper described a “disturbing and dirty” man lurking nearby, which led to an artist's impression of the suspect, and was detailed in the Netflix documentary.

The "dirty and disturbing man" as described by Gail Cooper. Image: Getty.

Mystery sex attacker

One of the most alarming suspects on the list is a man who sexually assaulted five girls between seven and 10, who remains on the run in the Algarve.

The attacks, carried out between 2004 and 2006, included two in Praia da Luz where the McCanns were staying.

He is said to speak in a "foreign accent", is dark-haired and tanned with a "funny smell".

He has not been spotted for over a decade.

The man sighted by the Smiths

The Netflix documentary details the moment when Irish holidaymakers Mary and Martin Smith saw a man carrying a child who matched Maddie’s disappearance in pyjamas, at around 10pm, 500 yards from the apartment. He remains one of the key suspects in the case.

The ‘ugly man’

A British woman claimed she saw a "very ugly" man watching the apartment where Maddie was staying on the day she disappeared.

She described him as “very ugly”, with pitted skin and a large nose, around 5ft 10ins, slim and wearing casual clothes.


The blonde men

Two blonde men are also of interest in the case. They were seen together in an empty apartment, which had a terrace overlooking the bar where Maddie's parents were eating when she disappeared from the hotel room.

The "Victoria Beckham lookalike"

A woman witnesses described as looking like Victoria Beckham caught the attention of police, after she was spotted in Barcelona by a British businessman.

He claimed she had dashed up to him and asked him if he had her new daughter, just hours after Maddie went missing.

A guest at the hotel

A man of interest was seen inside the complex on the evening she disappeared, but police were never able to track him down.

The suspicious couple

Local pizza shop owner George Brooks, saw a couple "acting suspiciously" and carrying a child near a marina. This was apparently moments before Maddie was discovered missing from her bed.

The masked man

A man portrayed in the series who preyed on children in a surgical mask is believed to match the description of another suspect seen lurking by the apartment.

He was once found looming over a little girl after breaking into her family's home, and replied “Yes” when she woke up and asked if he was her daddy.

Many believed the "masked man" the series referred to could be serial child killer and paedophile Martin Ney, who was jailed for life in 2012 for murdering three children and sexually abusing dozens more. These claims have since been disputed.

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