Madeleine McCann may have been kidnapped by a disgruntled maid in revenge for her sacking by the Praia da Luz resort where the three-year-old disappeared 150 days ago, according to a tip-off received by British police.
An anonymous informant named the ex-employee in a detailed email sent to Prince Charles's official website, claiming she acted out of bitterness towards the resort's operator, Mark Warner Ocean Club, said the News of the World.
British police called the email "significant", and said the details they had been able to check had proved to be correct. Now Leicestershire Police are trying to trace the writer, and have passed the information to Portuguese detectives.
The McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said they were "encouraged" by the development.