Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Lindy McDowell: What really happened to Maddie?

This illustration released Friday, May 1, 2009 by Harpo Productions Inc., shows a photo, left, and an age-progressed image, right, of Madeleine McCann, the British toddler who was 4 when she disappeared from a hotel room in Portugal on May 3, 2007. The age-progressed image, created by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, depicts what Madeleine may look like at age 6. Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann taped an interview with Oprah Winfrey on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in Chicago on April 24, 2009. The exclusive interview is scheduled to air in the United States on Monday, May 4 and in the United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 5. (AP Photo/Harpo Productions Inc., National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) **NO SALES**

On the one hand we’re told that Madeleine McCann was snatched, probably by a team of devious and experienced child-traffickers. On the other we’re presented with a picture of how she may look now — a bit older but still with the same fair hairstyle.

I am no criminal mastermind myself, but if I had snatched a child and was trying to disguise her, the first thing I’d do is completely change her hair

Is this little girl still alive? That’s the haunting question. The investigation still seems to be focussed entirely on the possibility of abduction.

Is it not also possible that on the night she disappeared, Maddie woke up, discovered her parents gone and set out (as four-year-olds are wont to) to find them?

Has this eventuality been properly investigated? Isn’t it possible the little girl could have come to some tragic, but entirely accidental harm?

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