Madeleine McCann investigation: Timeline in 'accepted version of events' was wrong, say police

A new reconstruction of her disappearance from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz  will be broadcast in a BBC Crimewatch appeal

Police involved in the new Madeleine McCann investigation have said that they believe the "accepted version of events" and timeline of her disappearance were wrong.

A new reconstruction of her disappearance from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz  will be broadcast in a BBC Crimewatch appeal tomorrow evening.

Detectives say the programme shows “significant changes” to the established version of what happened in 2007.

The show, which features footage of three-year-old girl dressed as Madeleine, will also screen e-fits of several men police are attempting to identify and eliminate from their inquiries, Scotland Yard said.

Speaking ahead of the programme Inspector Andy Redwood, of the Metropolitan Police, said: "Our work to date has significantly changed the timeline and the accepted version of events that has been in the public domain to date.

"It has allowed us to work with Crimewatch to build the most detailed reconstruction as yet, and highlight very specific appeal points.

"I hope that when the public see our investigative strands drawn together within the overall context of that appeal, it will bring in new information that moves our investigation forward."

The full reconstruction lasts 25 minutes and will air on the BBC at 9pm tomorrow night. A short clip has been released ahead of the broadcast showing a reconstructed scene of Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry playing tennis.

Madeleine, dressed in pink shorts, a light pink T-shirt and pink hat, then runs across the court, clutching a batch of tennis balls.

In another clip, the McCanns are asked how often they think of their daughter, who went missing when she was three years old on May 3 2007 from a holiday apartment as her parents dined at a nearby tapas restaurant with friends.

Mr McCann says: "When it's a special occasion, when you should be your happiest and Madeleine's not there, that's when it really hits home.

"Obviously, Madeleine's birthday goes without saying."

Mrs McCann adds: "It's when you have big family occasions really. That's it isn't it? 'Family occasion' and you haven't got your complete family."

In the programme the McCanns speak to presenter Kirsty Young live in the studio while presenter Matthew Amroliwala has been to Praia da Luz to explore the new focus of the police investigation.

DCI Andy Redwood, discusses how the police have approached the inquiry, saying:  "Primarily what we sought to do from the beginning is try and draw everything back to zero if you like. Try and take everything back to the beginning and re-analyse and reassess everything, accepting nothing."

He adds: "The careful and critical analysis of the timeline has been absolutely key.

"Primarily, we're focused on the area between 8.30 and 10.

"We know at 8.30 that was the time Mr and Mrs McCann went down to the tapas area for their dinner and we know that around at 10pm that was when Mrs McCann found that Madeleine was missing."

An incident room will be staffed during tomorrow's appeal and the days that follow, when the appeal moves to Holland and Germany.

Scotland Yard detectives, who have interviewed 442 people as part of their review-turned-investigation, hope to track down as many people present in the Portuguese town at the time.

Since launching its own investigation, 41 people of interest have been identified by the Metropolitan Police, including 15 UK nationals.

Detectives have issued 31 international letters of request (ILOR) to mostly European countries in relation to some of the persons of interest as well as accessing phone records.

A large but "manageable" list of phone numbers identified as being present in Praia da Luz - though not necessarily used to make phone calls - has been drawn up by detectives with a "significant" number unattributed to any named person.

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