Netflix documentary ‘could hinder search’: Madeleine McCann’s parents

The parents of missing girl Madeleine McCann say a Netflix documentary about their daughter's case could "hinder the search".

Madeleine, 3, went missing while she and her family were on holiday in Portugal in 2007. The UK investigation into what happened to her remains open. Her parents have vowed to never to stop searching for their daughter.

A photo of Madeleine McCann when she was three years old released by the McCann family in 2007.Credit:AP Photo

The Disappearance of Madelaine McCann, a true crime doco in the same vein as Netflix hits Making a Murderer and Abducted in Plain Sight, is tipped to land in the UK on Friday, and claims to include testimony from more than 40 "experts" close to the 12-year-old case.

The documentary is likely to claim that Madeleine was abducted and kept alive to be trafficked out of Portugal, according to British tabloid The Sun.

However many UK investigators and journalists close to the case, including Madeleine's parents Gerry and Kate McCann, refused to take part in the documentary, according to the BBC. This forced Netflix to push the release of a trailer back several weeks.

"We did not see – and still do not see – how this programme will help the search for Madeleine," the McCanns wrote in a statement published by the BBC.

"Particularly given there is an active police investigation, it could potentially hinder it."

The McCanns "urged those around them" not to give interviews to London's Pulse Films, which produced the show on behalf of Netflix, according to The Guardian.



A spokesman for the McCann family confirmed that "Kate and Gerry and their wider family and friends were approached some months ago to participate in the documentary", but "chose not to engage".

The McCanns were dining at a hotel in Portugal when Madeleine went missing from their hotel room where she and two older siblings were sleeping.

Portuguese police focussed on Madeleine's parents as suspects rather than an outside abductor, which UK investigators who joined the case later claim was a mistake.

Her disappearance sparked a large missing persons investigation and attracted huge media attention. Her disappearance remains a mystery to police, however a popular theory is that Madeleine was taken and sold to human traffickers.

This theory is based on evidence gathered by the UK's top child protection officer on the UK's first investigation into the disappearance, Jim Gamble, and head of the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in the US Ernie Allen, who created an image of Madeleine aged up to how she would look at 15.

In April 2017, Portuguese ex-police chief Goncarlo Amaral claimed in a TV interview that Madeleine's body was cremated after she was abducted in 2007. He claimed the McCanns covered it up.

The McCanns appealed to the European Court of Human Rights regarding Amaral's claims their daughter was dead and they were responsible.

Netflix announced the documentary project in 2017. The release date is Friday, March 15, according to Netflix, but there is no confirmation of what time it will go live for Australian customers.

Stuff.co.nz

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