frames from “Anatomia de um Mistério“, RTP1, November 2, 2007, interview recorded in August 10, 2007


by Miguel Morgado


12 years of investigations, zero conclusions and two documentaries produced. This Sunday premieres “The Madeleine McCann Mystery”. During two hours, Moita Flores, Gonçalo Amaral and Pinto Monteiro, among others, try to give an explanation to the most mediatic disappearance ever.

“I’m convinced that the only thing that didn’t happen was an abduction. Something else has happened.” This statement belongs to Moita Flores, the former Judiciary Police inspector, speaking about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, on May 3, 2007, on Praia da Luz in the Algarve.

12 years later and without the investigation having reached any conclusions, the high-profile case of the missing British child has given origin to date to two documentaries. After Netflix, Investigation Discovery premieres ‘The Madeleine McCann Mystery’ on May 26 at 23:00, a date that coincides with the weekend in which is marked the International Day of Missing Children.

In the documentary, Moita Flores reinforces his belief that she was not abducted, admitting that it could have been an “accident”, a “deliberate crime” and that there was an “enormous probability” that the “child died in Praia da Luz.”

Speaking to SAPO24, he goes further in reading the case that has become a worldwide issue. Looking back at the memory of where everything happened, Moita Flores wonders how someone walks through the door and out the window when the door is open? For the former inspector “it’s impossible to go out that window when the reconstruction of the disappearance is made. And there were no traces,” he says.

He also reveals that “there was a tremendous mistake of the Portuguese authorities in not having constituted as arguidos the parents and the group of friends (eight couples – sic* 4 couples obviously)”. He recalls that they were all “having dinner” and all left the children “alone” in a “strange country” and that such abandonment fulfills the “crime of exposure and abandonment” (article 138 of the Penal Code) which was “not considered” by the national authorities. “In England they would have lost their children,” he states.

“It amazes me that 12 years later and in a case like this, the first ones to be investigated, in any case, are always the closest persons, the parents and the group of friends. In this concrete case, there were steps taken for the parents to not be disturbed”, he emphasizes.

Referring to the fact that the parents “declined” to make statements, and that the group of friends also “did not make declarations”, Moita Flores questions why the British government “spent millions of pounds” in this investigation and did not give “equal attention” to other missing children. “I think there’s a secret behind it”, he says.

“My removal was a political issue,” says Gonçalo Amaral

Gonçalo Amaral, the former Judiciary Police inspector responsible for the case is another of the faces and voices of the documentary. Just like for Moita Flores for Gonçalo Amaral there was also “no evidence that pointed to an abduction. However, there was a need to continue the investigation,” he argues when questioned on the two hours documentary, recalling that children’s bed sheets looked “as if no one had slept on them”.

Hypothesizing that both Maddie and the twin brothers were under Calpol, a medicine that helps them(children) fall asleep, the former inspector reinforces publicly again that they have come to the conclusion that “this would have been an accidental death” and has no doubts that the removal from the case that he was obliged “was a political issue.”

With several testimonies including Pinto Monteiro, the then Attorney-General of the Republic, in a statement, the channel underlines that “The Madeleine McCann Mystery” dissects several lines of investigation that have been “known over the past 12 years, but were never conclusive. ”

in Sapo24, May 23, 2019

Moita Flores on Maddie: “The only thing that did not happen was an abduction”
(article extract)

(…) For two hours, the program, scheduled for May 26 at 23:00, analyzes in depth every detail of the story, creating a chronological line from the moment Madeleine disappears, to actions taken by the authorities and to the efforts of the parents to find her. The documentary ‘The Madeleine McCann Mystery’ features testimonies from the main actors in the story. Gonçalo Amaral, former inspector of the Judiciary responsible for the case, Francisco Moita Flores, former inspector and Fernando Pinto Monteiro, Attorney General at the time, among others, are some of the protagonists of the story. The two-hour special also contains testimony from experts and US journalists who followed the case.

Gonçalo Amaral, as he did in the Netflix documentary, raises questions: “The bed sheets were as if no one was lying down and the blanket she used to sleep with was impeccably folded at the head of the bed. There was no evidence pointing to an abduction. However, there was a need to continue the investigation.” But the inspector, who has made a lot of ink run throughout these 12 years, goes further.

“The twins were asleep and stayed like that for several hours, despite the noise inside the apartment. This lead us to believe that both Madeleine and the twins took a drug called Calpol, which helps children fall asleep. The children’s grandfather admitted in an interview that Kate used to give to Maddie and the twins Calpol for them to fall asleep. The conclusion that we reached is that this would have been an accidental death”.

Pinto Monteiro is another of the intervenients on the documentary.

“I closed the case when I confirmed that there was no new evidence. These crimes are very difficult to investigate. In this case my conscience is one hundred percent clean. There was nothing else I could have done. ”

Moita Flores says he believes Madeleine McCann died in Portugal, in Praia da Luz. “I’m convinced that the only thing that didn’t happen was an abduction. Something else happened. It may have been an accident, it may have been a deliberate crime, there may have been several things, but what is certain is that there is an enormous probability that that child died in Praia da Luz.”

‘The Madeleine McCann Mystery’ premieres on May 26 at 11pm on the ID – Investigation Discovery, an exclusive NOS (TV/mobile operator in Portugal).

in Impala, May 23, 2019


Video excerpts

‘The Madeleine McCann Mystery’ ID Documentary tweeted