15 Oct 2013

McCann abduction appears planned - police

11:43 am on 15 October 2013

British police say the case of missing girl Madeleine McCann has all the hallmarks of a planned abduction.

Madeleine was three when she disappeared from the holiday resort where she was staying with her parents in Portugal in 2007.

The authorities there closed their investigation in 2008, but London's Metropolitan Police spent two years reviewing the evidence and opened their own probe in July.

They have now released new computer generated images of a man wanted in connection with the disappearance.

The man was sighted around the time Madeline was reported missing.

Two members of an Irish family say they saw the man carrying a young child, who was possibly wearing pyjamas, in the holiday resort of Praia da Luz, the ABC reports.

They say he was heading in the direction of the beach. The witnesses say the child did not appear to be distressed.

Police emphasise that the man may be unconnected to the case but are urging him or anyone who knows him to come forward.