LONDON, March 19 British detectives
investigating the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann said
they were looking for a man suspected of carrying out a series
of sexual assaults on young girls staying in Portuguese holiday
villas between 2004 and 2010.
McCann, then aged three, went missing from her bedroom at
the Praia da Luz holiday resort in the Algarve while her parents
were dining with friends at a nearby restaurant, leading to a
global search that gripped the world's media.
London police, who started a review of the case in 2011 and
began their own investigation last year, said on Wednesday that
they were looking for more information about 12 crimes committed
in Portuguese holiday resorts.
In four cases between 2004 and 2006 a man sexually assaulted
five white girls, aged between 7 and 10 years, in their beds,
police said. Two of the 12 offences were committed in Praia da
"These offences are very serious and no one has been charged
in connection with them," Andy Redwood, the senior investigating
officer, said in a statement. "We also need to eliminate this
man from our enquiries and ascertain whether these offences are
linked to Madeleine's disappearance."
(Reporting by Sarah Young; writing by Kate Holton, editing by