Just five hours in May

What really happened to Madeleine Beth McCann?

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The Burke-Sighting

George Burke, from Liverpool, was driving home from nearby Lagos around 5:55 am on early morning the 4th May 2007. He caught two people in his car headlights carying a child. In an Interview he stated ( see at →evidence)

“I couldn't see them clearly because it was dark and windy. They scurried down a side road and out of sight. It was very, very dark and it was hard to make out exactly what the couple looked like. But through the gloom I could see a very suspicious-looking man and woman, with a child who fitted Madeleine's description. Though there was nobody else on the road, they were hurrying across a road that leads straight to the train station and marina. They were trying to carry the kid without anyone seeing..

Michael Wright is a close family relative and immediatly was called by Gerry to help the McCann's in PdL. Just two days later Michael Wright by pure chance got knowledge of the Burke-Sighting. But he didn't officially report the George-Burke-Sighting. Not before in his statement to Leicestershire Police in 2008, →where he stated:

“As for additional information I would like to add that on Sunday, 6 May I went to the pizzaria in PdL and bought a large quantity of pizzas. I was attended by a girl from Liverpool. I explained to her my relationship to the McCanns and she told me that her father ‘George’ had seen a man carrying a child in his arms in the early morning of 4 May in the resort. I asked her if her father would speak about this to the Portuguese authorities. I don’t know if the information was ever investigated.”

source: McCannFiles - Burke-Sighting

The McCanns but then were seen by police witnesses at 7:00 o'clock in the morning →evidence “07:00 GNR Officer Paolo Jorge Fernandes Neto: “…He remembers that he saw the McCann couple at about 07.00 alone in the street next to the site where they were stationed…”) in PdL just coming back from “searching for Maddie”, returning from anywhere unknown.

On →Steel Magnolia (Jan. 7, 2012) we can find the following information:

The pizza girl: During this time, on 6th May, Michael Wright says he met a girl from Liverpool. He says he bought a large quantity of pizzas from a ‘pizza shack’ on the beach of Praia da Luz; the girl serving the pizzas was from Liverpool. She apparently told him that her father, known as ‘George B’, had seen a man carrying child during the very early hours of 4th May in the resort, the day after Madeleine ‘went missing’. Michael Wright apparently didn’t know if ‘George’ had been spoken to by authorities. This possible ‘sighting’ of Madeleine was for some reason never mentioned by the McCanns…As Michael Wright was advised by the girl of this ‘sighting’, did he run and tell the McCanns? - and did the McCanns then contact the police? Let us look at this another way. Suppose you're out there helping your close relations Kate and Gerry after the tragic abduction of their daughter. You go down to the beach on Sunday - just three days later - and go and get some pizzas. The girl there tells you that her father saw someone carrying a young girl on the night of 3rd/4th May. So - what do you do? You might, for example: (a) immediately ’phone Kate and Gerry to and tell them of the lead, or (b) contact the Portuguese police immediately, or © contact the UK Police immediately, or (d) ask the girl to make contact with the father so you can speak to him? But - no. Apparently Michael Wright does none of these things. He did nothing and apparently only mentions it to the police months later…. ”

This event is seemingly but also sustained by Witness statement of Yvonne Warren Martin:

  • On May 04, 2007, at around 07H00 she heard about the disappearance of an English girl from Praia da Luz, Lagos, from Sky News or BBC.
  • Having worked for 25 years in the area of child protection, she felt obliged to offer help to her compatriots and went to Praia da Luz.
  • At around 09H00, she met the McCann couple next to the apartment from where the child had disappeared, accompanied by a third person, a male, who seemed quite familiar to her.
  • This third person of the group appeared to be an intimate (friend) of the family…
  • She identified herself and presented her credentials and immediately began talking to the mother of the missing child as she was visibly upset with the situation.
  • During the conversation the mother told her that she did not understand why a couple had abducted her daughter.
  • However, the third individual overheard this conversation and interrupted Ms. Martin and took the McCann couple away from her.
  • This same individual came shortly afterwards to tell her that the couple did not want to talk to her any further and did not require her help - an action that appeared quite strange to her.

The Kate-Yvonne W.M.- meeting took place actually just 3 hours after Burke's sighting of the couple at the marina. This story was built up later to the so called “mystery couple” allegedly having looked after Maddie as early as 2nd May, see e.g. tabloidExaminer: Do Maddie McCann's parents know so called "Mystery-Couple"?.

See also a possible significance of the Burke.Sighting related to the open question Where is Maddie? - mid-term occultation.