In 2013, Scotland Yard issued an image of the suspected kidnapper, who was near the scene of Madeleine McCann's disappearance at the time. Scotland Yard continues to investigate the case, which at various times has also seen the parents implicated.
Now a 45-year-old man from the Galician town of Mino, on the northern Portuguese-Spanish border, claims his daughter was nearly abducted by the same man in November 2001, six years before Madeleine McCann's disappearance, at a hotel in the central Portuguese town of Abrantes, according to a report in regional news platform La Voz de Galicia.
Referring to the mocked-up image of McCann's kidnapper, broadcast globally in 2013, the father – identified by La Voz de Galicia only as Andrés – recalls how the man approached his daughters (13 and 5) and complemented them. Later that evening, his daughter called him and asked if he had entered their hotel room. He hadn't and the only other guest at the hotel was McCann's suspected kidnapper.
“I don't know if that man kidnapped Madeleine, but for me he is the man who tried to take my daughter,” Andrés told the northern Spanish daily.
Andrés says he complained to reception but that they told him the man was “a regular guest who likes children but doesn't hurt them.” He says he was interviewed by Spain's Policía Nacional and later the UK's Scotland Yard, who promised to call again if the new evidence led to any breakthroughs. They never called back.
The BBC's panorama produced a documentary on the ten-year anniversary of McCann's disappearance.