Police believe they’ve found the mysterious ‘woman in purple’ who could hold clues to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
The woman was reported by two witnesses, who say she was standing outside the Ocean Club apartment in Praia da Luz where Madeleine was taken a decade ago, a mere 90 minutes before the child disappeared.
She was first spotted standing beside a lamp post just outside apartment 5a at 8pm on 3 May 2007, with another sighting half an hour later at a nearby location – both witnesses described the woman as ‘acting bizarrely’ and ‘watching intently’.
Police have long wanted to find and speak to this woman, to see if she noticed anything suspicious on the evening in question.
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The woman is believed to be 58-year-old waitress Luisa Todorov.
Luisa’s husband, 50-year-old Stefan Todorov, had been working at the tapas restaurant where Kate and Gerry McCann had been dining with friends on the night of Maddie’s disappearance.
Five days after the suspected abduction, both Luisa and Stefan gave statements to the Portuguese police, as standard procedure – Luisa’s statement revealed how she’d been employed at the Millennium restaurant, where she worked day shifts.
The McCann family are known to have spent their first evening on holiday at this restaurant, along with their friends.
Spanish criminologist, Heriberto Janosch Gonzalez, who’s been looking into the high profile case for ten years, told The Daily Express:
I have been combing through all the police files trying to identify who the woman in purple could be.
It has been widely reported that Yard officers are in Bulgaria.
Examining all the known statements it seems highly likely the police are seeking the Todorovs as they are the only known people with a clear link to Bulgaria.
Back in the summer of 2007, a British woman claimed to see a child who resembled Madeleine at Varna airport, Bulgaria, however, this information was later found to not check out.
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I have been unable to trace them in Portugal and believe they could have moved away.
It is widely known that many workers at the Ocean Club were made redundant so it is possible they went to Bulgaria seeking work.
Despite a widespread search, police have – as of yet – been unable to track down Luisa.
Operation Grange – Scotland Yard’s £12 million hunt for Madeleine – was recently given a monetary injection of £154,000 while police attempt to locate the witness in question.
The Metropolitan Police have also been given another £85,000 this year by the Home Office, in order to extend the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance.
Kate and Gerry McCann continue to hope their daughter is still alive, ten years after she vanished during their family holiday to Portugal.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.