Mrs Fenn also told police that two nights before Madeleine disappeared she heard a child crying in the McCanns’ apartment. Her screams carried on from around 10.30pm to 11.45pm until family members returned from a night out.
WIDOW WITH VITAL CLUES WAS NEVER QUESTIONED
By David Pilditch
A British widow has come forward with new information which could help Portuguese detectives solve the mystery of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, the Daily Express can reveal.
Ex-pat Pamela Fenn, who is in her 70’s, has told police she has three “bombshell” clues she believes could be vital to the inquiry.
In the weeks before Madeleine disappeared Mrs Fenn scared off an intruder who had apparently let himself into her apartment with a key.
It was one of a series of similar crimes reported to Portuguese police.
In a second development Mrs Fenn’s niece reported seeing a man who matched the description of a suspect peering into the McCanns holiday apartment around the time Madeleine went missing.
And she revealed vital details of the movements of Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry, and their holiday friends in the run up to the night of May 3 – when Madeleine vanished.
Incredibly Mrs Fenn, who lives in the apartment directly above the flat the McCanns were staying in, was never interviewed by Portuguese police, it was claimed yesterday.
It was only when a team of British officers were called in to help carry out a major review of the case that the information was acted on.
Now Mrs Fenn will be formally interviewed for the first time by Portuguese detectives at police headquarters in Portimao on Monday morning.
Her niece, who has not been named, will also give a sworn testimony next week, after she was asked to fly to Portugal from Britain.
The Daily Express can reveal they are among a series of witnesses will be called in to give statements in the light of new evidence which has emerged.
Detectives are preparing to swoop on new suspects after a breakthrough in a major new line of inquiry.
Investigators are now working on the theory Madeleine, four, died inside the holiday apartment where her family were staying.
A police source told The Daily Express: “Next week we will be taking statements from several witnesses.
“We want to clarify details which may be relevant to the new line of inquiry in the light of the facts we have found.”
Mrs Fenn has told police how she scared off an intruder she found in her apartment in the Ocean Club complex in Praia da Luz in the weeks leading up to Madeleine’s disappearance.
There was no sign of a break-in and police believe he may have used a key to get in through the front door.
The terrified mother was watching TV in the evening and went to investigate a noise coming from her bedroom.
Mrs Fenn, who has lived in Praia da Luz for a number of years, discovered a man scrambling out of the window.
She tried to grab his ankle but he escaped. She reported the incident to police but did not believe anything was taken.
Mrs Fenn told how she had a niece from Britain staying with her in the week the McCanns were on holiday there.
Her niece, who has now been interviewed by detectives in Britain, spotted a suspicious looking man hanging around the McCanns’ apartment around the time Madeleine disappeared.
She told the officer the man matched the description of a suspect seen by Jane Tanner one of the McCanns’ holiday friends.
Miss Tanner reported seeing the man rushing away from the apartment with a child wrapped in a blanket under his arm.
A second witness spotted the man minutes later rushing past the church in the resort and heading to the sea front.
The dark-haired man was wearing white trousers and a dark jacket.
Mrs Fenn also told police that two nights before Madeleine disappeared she heard a child crying in the McCanns’ apartment.
Her screams carried on from around 10.30pm to 11.45pm until family members returned from a night out.
A friend of Mrs Fenn told The Daily Express last night: “She is an elderly lady who is quite nervous and was very shaken up after the break-in.
“She was surprised that neither the police nor the McCanns had approached her for information before.
“Even though she lives in the apartment directly upstairs the police had never tried to get in touch with her to ask her if she saw or heard anything the night Madeleine disappeared.
“The first time a police officer spoke to her was when the British officers with sniffer dogs knocked on her door and searched her apartment.
“She told an officer what she knew and now she has been asked to make a formal statement.
“Portuguese officers have told her they will pick her up at 10am on Monday and drive her to police headquarters in Portimao.
“On the night she found an intruder she was sitting at home watching TV when she heard a noise in her bedroom.
“She went to investigate. The man must have heard her coming and was scrambling out of the window. She just saw the back of his head and arm and she tried to push him out of the window.
“She was shaking with fear and called the police. There was no sign of a break in and she thought he must have somehow come in through the front door.
“She now thinks the information may prove significant in the investigation.
“Her niece who lives in England was staying with her when the McCanns were on holiday.
“When details of a suspect were released a few weeks later the niece remembered she had seen a man fitting the description hanging around in the street outside the McCanns’ apartment.
“He was acting suspiciously and appeared to be looking into the window of the apartment. She has given a statement to police in Britain.
“Mrs Fenn says that two nights before Madeleine disappeared one of the children in the apartment was constantly screaming from around 10.30pm to 11.45pm.
“She was crying out for her dad and nobody answered until somebody returned.
“She remembers the times because she was talking to a friend back home on the phone and she was watching the news at 10.30pm.
“On the night Madeleine disappeared the first she knew of it was when there was a commotion downstairs.
“She looked over the balcony and saw the child’s mother. She was in a state of panic. She was repeatedly saying ’We’ve let her down. We’ve let her down.’
“All the people in their group were running in and out of the apartment. She asked someone if she should call the police and was told it had already been done.”
Last night Mrs Fenn refused to reveal details of her evidence.
Under Portugal’s strict secrecy laws witnesses are banned from speaking publicly about details of an on-going investigation.
But when she answered the door at her apartment yesterday she said: “I will speak to the police on Monday.”
Last night a Portuguese police source claimed officers had already been given statements by Mrs Fenn and her neice.
A police source said: “We have already spoken to them but they will be re-interviewed because of the new evidence we have.
“They are among a number of witnesses who we will talk to next week. They include employees from the Ocean Club.”
Police in Portugal are still awaiting the results of forensic tests carried out on two samples of blood found in the McCanns’ holiday apartment.
The source said friends of Madeleine’s parents who were on holiday with them when their daughter disappeared could also be questioned.
The source said: “It is possible the McCanns friends will be brought in again but not will not happen before we have received the results of the forensic tests.
“The results of the blood tests are important but the investigation does not hinge solely on them.
“The blood is just another clue that could help us in the investigation. If there are four or five major clues that is stronger than just two or three.”
Asked why the police had not carried out their weekly update meeting with the McCanns.
The couple reportedly asked for urgent showdown talks after reports were leaked to newspapers that police now believe Madeleine is dead.
Senior police chiefs later confirmed they are now working on that theory.
The source said: “It is not the McCanns who decide when we meet.
“We do that only when there is relevant information to tell them.”
A second holidaymaker told police an intruder used a key to enter her Ocean Club apartment just three weeks before Madeleine went missing.
The Scottish woman said that on the first night of her stay in Portugal,she and a friend returned to the flat to find their belongings and £500 worth of foreign money had been taken.
The woman said: “It was in the same block as the one where the little girl was taken from.
“The police were called that night. They told us that someone with a key had got into the flat. There’s no proof of that, but that was their opinion as there was nothing else disturbed. No broken windows, no forced entry.”
. . .
‘WE’VE LET MADELEINE DOWN’
Widow Mrs Fenn told police that two nights before Madeleine went missing she heard a little girl in the apartment crying for over an hour. She said the toddler, who is believed to have been Madeleine, was crying “Daddy, daddy” constantly between 10.30 and 11.45pm. The crying had stopped when the parents returned to the apartment. On the night Madeleine disappeared, Mrs Fenn also heard a child crying, but it was when Kate returned from a nearby restaurant to check on her daughter that she was first aware something was wrong.
Accidental death new focus of McCann case
“They say that abduction is no longer the main lead and that accidental death is the strongest theory they are working on,” the anonymous source said. “The apartment is the key — all the answers lie there, they say – but they are far from resolving what exactly happened and why the body disappeared,” he told the British newspaper.
MADDIE “KEYSTONE COPS” TOTALLY CLUELESS
The Portuguese police hunting Madeleine McCann have been branded “Keystone Cops” by British officers shocked at their appalling blunders. Detectives from Leicestershire are said to be horrified that clues which could have led to the tot’s abductors have probably been lost forever. The British cops, drafted in to review the three-month investigation, were stunned by the “incompetence, inaccuracy and crass inefficiency” they found. “Local police appear to have been running around like the Keystone Cops without any proper co-ordination.”
Madeleine McCann’s parents told not to leave
“The answers to this case are all in the apartment”
Detectives now believe that abduction is no longer the main lead, and that Madeleine died in the apartment on the night she disappeared. The source said that the key focus is now the two-bedroom apartment in the Ocean Club, where the four-year-old disappeared on May 3. “The answers to this case are all in the apartment,” he said. He said: “It’s natural that in a crime of this nature more than one person took part. This analysis is not based on anything concrete, but rather on logic.
Police Claim They Know Who Killed Madeleine McCann
DETECTIVES leading the Madeleine McCann investigation now know the identity of her killers, it has been sensationally alleged. Reports in Portugal claim police are convinced the four-year-old died inside her family’s holiday flat in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz – even though blood traces found […]
Sniffer dog detected scent of a body inside McCann apartment
After exhausting all leads suggesting Madeleine was abducted, police are now working on the theory she suffered an accident or was killed inside the flat. A British sniffer dog detected the scent of a body inside the apartment of Madeleine McCann, Portuguese police said today.
First DNA tests on ‘Madeleine’ blood completed
The most recent theories aired in Portuguese newspapers have suggested that Madeleine may have been killed in the apartment while the McCanns were enjoying dinner with friends nearby, then she was bundled into a sack weighed down with stones and thrown into the sea.
Police believe Madeleine McCann murdered at home, not kidnapped
“It is confirmed that there were vestiges of blood found in the apartment occupied by the McCanns,” Diario de Noticias cited unnamed police sources as saying. Diario de Noticas, a tabloid newspaper, claimed yesterday that police were “definite” that it was not a kidnap and that Madeleine died in her room.