The timeline I’m posting here was put together by ‘KazLux’ on the McCannPJFiles.co.uk website from the information available in the Policia Judiciaria files including the witness statements, phone calls made and received as well as text/SMS messages.
For more information and the timeline for what transpired after 01:00am Thursday you can click here.
20:45 – 22:00 May 3 2007, McCann Disappearance
20:45-21:15 – Jeremy Wilkins states that after leaving his apartment at around 20:30, and meets Gerry McCann sometime between 20:45 and 21:15.
“I am aware of the importance of this hour and am also aware that the media announced our meeting time as 21:05. Even if this were correct, I have no idea from where such information originated. It is not possible to give you a more exact time.” – Wilkins
~20.45 – 20.50 Ricardo Oliveira (waiter) 7/9/07 Clarifies that on that night when he took the dinner orders, the entire group was seated. He remembers that there were nine adults – four men and five women. He did not notice any strange behaviour on their part.
When they were all together, the group sat at the table, he took their orders, including the starters. Normally, he would immediately take two white and two red bottles of wine and one bottle of water to the table. Their main courses would normally be ready 25 to 30 minutes after their order – a time they used to consume the starters. After starters, the group would normally spend about 15 minutes finishing the main course.
21:15-21:30 – A guest at the Ocean Club labelled ‘S.C.’ and his wife left the tapas bar to go home.
“My wife mentioned on the following day that she vaguely remembered someone calling “Madeleine, Madeleine”, this was after we had crossed the road from the MW reception and before entering our apartment. She does not remember where the sound came from or whether it was in an urgent tone, not paying any more attention to it and only remembered the following day when we heard about Madeleine’s disappearance” – S.C.
21:20 – A.E.G.F.P., an Executive Chef, hears a ruckus and follows the noise to the restaurant a few metres away where he was informed that a child was missing. Around 21:40 he leaves the restaurant, passing by the table that had been occupied earlier by three couples, who had left behind their possessions, mostly clothing, later learning that the missing child belonged to one of these couples.
21:30-21:40 – B.J.J.W., a property manager, hears about Madeline’s disappearance from P.B., the Dutch owner of the Atlántico restaurant. PB passed by B.J.J.W. near the Baptista supermarket and asked for his help in searching for the missing girl. B.J.J.W. then goes to the place where events occurred, where locals and Mark Warner staff (the resort firm) had gathered.
21:45 – After dinner, waiter R.A.E.D.L.O. saw the empty table and was informed by a colleague that the guests at the table had left abruptly. He remembers hearing shouts in the direction of the McCann apartment.
21:30-22:00 – J.R.S., a waiter/fitness instructor speaks with Dianne Webster at the table. She tells him the rest of her group have gone to see if the little girl was there. He says he hopes they find her somewhere in the apartment.
“At saying this, I saw the man, who I knew later to be Madeleine’s father, running to the pool and to the children’s play area in the Tapas zone as if looking for someone. It immediately hit me that after talking to the older woman, that the little girl had not been found. I offered to alert the workers at the Millenium Restaurant and the man agreed. He then left again running to continue searching. I believe that this was between 21:30 and 22:00 but do not remember with certainty.” – J.R.S.
~21:55 – The Smith family, comprising of 4 adults and 5 children, are heading north returning from Kelly’s Bar when they pass a man walking down the middle of the street with a child in his arms. He is carrying a child in in light pajamas, bare feet, pale skin and blonde hair, looking to be about 3 or 4 years old. The man himself is white with a tanned face, about 30-35 years of age, 1.7/1.8 metres tall, average build, physically fit with short brown hair. He is wearing cream or beige trousers, classic cut. (GA)
21:58 – M.M.M.d.S. leaves her apartment, noting the exact time after asking her friend who checked it on the telephone in the lounge. After leaving Block 6 in their Opel Frontera and passed in front of the block where the McCann’s apartment was situated. She states in her deposition that she saw no movement of people and in the immediate area of the block no vehicle, apart from a small grey car parked close to the window of the McCann apartment. She also says that she looked at the exit of the apartment and saw light from the flat above and in front, but could not definitely say where she saw it. Nothing struck her as abnormal.
21:30-22:00 – H.J.S.L., receptionist at the Ocean Club, was contacted by staff from the tapas restaurant sometime between 21:30 and 22:00 about the missing daughter of a guest who had been eating there that night. He immediately contacted the GNR (Guarda Nacional Republicana) in Lagos. Gerry McCann and John Hill arrive at reception shortly after this and H.J.S.L. calls the GNR again.
22:00 – 23:00 May 3 2007 McCann Disappearance
~22:00 – M.J.d.S.R., bar chef, hears about the disappearance when an English tourist asks at the Millenium Restaurant if anyone had seen a lost little girl.
R.R.S.B. and his wife are sitting on the veranda of their apartment not far from the McCann’s when noise downstairs alerts them. They discover that a child has disappeared and both speak to Gerry McCann before going down to join him in the search.
22:00-22:30 – J.J.M.B., a waiter, is told by a colleague that a guest had entered the restaurant screaming about a missing child and at this point the entire group (Tapas) leaves in a panicked state.
~22:15 – J.O.W., the owner of the ‘Duque de Holanda’ bar is informed by an unidentified Mark Warner employee that a girl had disappeared from the Ocean Club.
~22:17 – E.L.K., hotel manager, receives a call about the missing girl from L.J., the crèche manager, and they meet up with service manager A.T. near the Tapas Bar and initiate the Mark Warner procedures for the search of a missing child.
~22:20 – Tennis coaches D.J.S. and G.L.J. are informed separately about the disappearance by a resort worker who had taken part in the searches and a housemate who worked in the Ocean Club, respectively.
22:28 – L.J. makes a call to the mobile phone of manager J.H. about the disappearance. Approximately 5 minutes later JH presents himself at the resort, seeing about 100 people including guests, employees and residents conducting a search of the grounds, the beach and adjoining areas.
22:30 – Head of maintenance J.C.S.B. is informed about the disappearance by the Ocean Club administrator.
Nanny KM leaves her apartment with other residents Leanne and Sarah, and finds her colleague Amy. As they talk she discovers that Madeline McCann has disappeared and they join the search.
Millenium waitress A.N.d. hears about Madeline’s disappearance from a British tennis instructor who entered the restaurant where she was relaxing with her mother and sister. Due to the fact that she had already had a few drinks, she declined to take part in the search, but her sister and her boyfriend did.
Upstairs neighbour Mrs. Fenn hears the phrase ‘we have let her down’ repeatedly shouted by a hysterical-sounding woman, later discovered to be Kate McCann. Mrs. F leans over the balcony and speaks with Gerry McCann, who tells her that a small girl has been abducted. Mrs. F finds it strange that Gerry McCann didn’t mention that it was his daughter, or mention any other possibilities. She offers to contact the authorities, to which Gerry replies that it has already been done.
22:30-22:45 – Millenium restaurant employee D.J.A.V.d.S. is asked by a tall British individual if he had seen a little girl, describing her as blonde, three years of age and probably wearing pajamas. When he and his colleague, M.d.F., replied that they hadn’t the individual ran out.
Waiter G.C.C.C. hears about the disappearance from an English Mark Warner employee who asks to use a telephone in the bar as he had received information about the disappearance of the girl on his mobile. G.C.C.C. is not privy to the details of the telephone conversation but is certain that something has happened. At the end of his shift he joins his colleague Nelson in the search until 03:00.
22:41 – First call to Lagos Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR)
~22:45-22:50 – S.B.O., a nanny, was in the ‘Mirage’ bar along with her colleagues Emma, Shinead (sic), Najoua, Stacy and Hayley, the latter informing her after she returned from the bathroom that a three year old child had disappeared from the Ocean Club. The group left immediately to take part in the search.
23:55-23:00 – E.L.K., a manager, goes to the McCann apartment to get the description of Madeleine and what she was wearing. Kate McCann is being comforted on the terrace by David Payne’s wife. Kate is unable to speak, on the verge of tears, and Mrs. Payne gives E.L.K. the details she needs.
23:00 – 00:00 May 3 2007 McCann Disappearance
23:00 – G McKenzie, a guest at the Ocean Club, approached the McCann apartment from the bushes near the rear while searching in the gardens. He sees Gerry McCann standing in the doorway on his own, on the phone, facing away from McK.
“I was in the end garden when I heard a male voice, he sounded distraught his voice cracking with emotion. I looked to see who I now know to be Gerry McCann stood above me on the balcony/patio about 3 metres away speaking on a mobile phone. I cannot recall his exact words but I got the impression that he was speaking to perhaps a family member or someone he was very close to due to the nature of his conversation. He said something along the lines of there being ‘paedophile gangs’ in Portugal and that they had abducted Madeleine. I was so shocked by this, having originally thought that she had just wandered off.” – McKenzie
SB arrives at Apartment A5 where she finds several people inside and outside. However, she leaves without speaking to anyone and goes to the principal reception after she hears that the GNR were there.
She sees Gerry behind her; he kneels down on the ground and shouts or screams unintelligibly. Then he stands up and the three of them (S.B., Gerry and a GNR officer) go to apartment A5. At the request of the GNR commander she acts as translator. She also remembers that Gerry gave several postcard sized photographs to the GNR.
~23:10 – David Payne and Matthew Oldfield are seen by E.L.K. on her way to her assigned search area at the beach.
23:14 Gerry calls Kate (8 seconds)
23:17 Gerry calls Kate (31 seconds)
~23:15 – Officer N.F.P.d.C. hears about the circumstances of the disappearance from Gerry McCann (with the help of a translator), doesn’t remember the word abduction being mentioned.
Officer J.M.B.R. thinks that he did tell the translator it was an abduction, at least, this is how it was translated. Both officers along with the translator (S.B.), Gerry and an unidentified male (listed as friend of Gerry’s) leave the reception and head to the apartment, where they see Kate McCann and another 3 individuals, one female and two male.
After a search of the interior of the apartment, J.M.B.R. notes an unusual situation when both Kate and Gerry kneel down on the floor and place their heads on the bed, crying, without any comment or expression.
J.M.B.R. leaves to the check the area around the apartment while N.F.P.d.C. remains just outside the apartment. A female unkown to the officers who was in the neighbouring apartment said that she saw an individual carrying a child in pajamas, running, and suspects it could be Madeleine McCann. However, the sighting did not seem very credible to N.F.P.d.C. as when asked for a description of the individual, she said it was very dark, yet she saw the pajamas clearly.
S.B. translates the deposition of one of the ladies from the English group, indicated as a brunette, which stated that the lady had seen a man crossing the road, possibly carrying a child. S.B. finds this strange as, at the time of the alleged sighting, the lady had been positioned in a spot with no line of sight to the man’s alleged location. The lady indicated that she saw him going in the direction of the Baptista supermarket, passing on the street in front of the window of Madeleine’s bedroom.
J.M.B.R. finds the parents to be nervous and anxious, and did not see any tears from them even though they produced noises identical to crying. His feeling was that this was not an abduction, but this was Gerry’s line of reasoning.
S.B. notes that from the outset, Gerry and the rest of the group state that Madeleine had been abducted, using the word ‘abducted’ as opposed to missing, and they showed great interest in speaking to the press about the situation.
She also recalls her impression of the apartment and the bedroom that Madeleine had been sleeping in. The cots used by Madeleine’s twin siblings were aligned in the middle of the room, and she found it strange that someone could have taken the child from her bed up to the window as there seemed to be no space to get through. She checks the wardrobe to see if the child had been hiding inside, then they all left the room.
S.B. stays in the living room for a while with the GNR officers while Gerry and other group members enter and exit the room repeatedly (“in a frenzy”) speaking on their mobile phones. She notices that none of the group members, including Gerry and Kate McCann were busy looking for her. Kate is sitting on the bed in the master bedroom, and Gerry along with S.B., the GNR officers and the rest of the group walk in and out, Gerry on the phone and concerned about informing the press of the event. She states that she thinks the mother was downbeat, and the father showed his concern, also asking for the press to be alerted and dogs to be brought in for the search. With regard to the others, she only recalls Fiona and Mr. Payne being hysterical.
~23:30 – A white, fair haired man asks V.K. and her family near to the chapel if they had seen Madeleine.
J.H. asks E.L.K., on behalf of Mark Warner, to go to the apartment and provide any assistance the family might need. She enters by the patio doors, introduces herself to Kate and Mrs. Payne, and can hear them both crying in the bedroom when she goes to the living room. The twins are still asleep in their bedroom with the door half open. Shortly after, Gerry returns to the apartment with Russell.
23:30-23:40 – A CID team leaves Portimão on the way to Praia da Luz.
“I’ve got crying for help from my brother and I’m stuck couple of thousand miles away from him. I can’t do anything concrete. And then eventually he just said, “I don’t know what to think. I think some paedophile or some other swine has taken Madeleine”
– John, Gerry McCann’s brother, on MSNBC. According to John the time of the call is ‘twenty to twelve’ (23:40)
23:40 Gerry calls Trish Cameron (11.13 minutes)
“It was my younger brother Gerry distraught on the phone, breaking his heart. He said: ‘Madeleine is abducted, she’s been abducted’. ‘They kept going back to check the kids every half hour. The restaurant was only 40 yards away. He went back at 9 o’clock to check the children. They were all sound asleep, windows shut, shutters shut’
[Kate went over to the apartment and ‘came out screaming’]
‘The door was lying open, the window in the bedroom and the shutters had been jimmied open‘. “They think someone must have come in the window and gone out of the front door with Madeleine.”
– Trish Cameron, Gerry McCann’s sister
“On the night of Thursday, May 3, 2007, Patricia received a telephone call from Gerry informing us of the disappearance of Madeleine. Gerry manifested all those emotions one expects from a father who has lost a child in the circumstances. He was distraught and spoke at the same time he cried. He seemed frustrated with the slowness of the searches in Portugal, with the fact that the borders had not been closed, and with the fact that sniffer dogs were not being used. Patricia and I contacted the British Embassy to try and help in this regard.”
– Sandy Cameron, husband of Trish Cameron
~23:45 – Hotel owner P.R.W. arrives on the scene, and sees many people and police officers already there.
23:52 Gerry calls Brian and Janet Kennedy (2.30 minutes)
00:00 – 01:00 May 4 2007 McCann Disappearance
~00:00 L.M.d.S.B., a barman at the Millenium Restaurant, was dining with his family when he receives a call from his colleague at work, Nelson, informing him of the disappearance. He leaves for the resort immediately, feeling the need to help out. He remembers a great panic among the people involved looking. He helps in the search until 05:00.
A.T., an employee at the Tapas bar, when Russell asks for a USB memory stick reader to print photos of the missing girl from the McCann’s memory stick, the photos coming from their camera. She replies that she doesn’t have one, but that she has a printer with these capabilities, which she fetches from her room. They print between 20 and 30 photos, using her own paper, in 10×15 format.
00:00 – 00:30 – Police arrive, entering by the main door, and go to the kitchen with Gerry. Hotel manager E.L.K. goes to both the master bedroom where Kate is with Mrs. Payne, shouting “where is she?” and banging on the headboard, and afterwards checks on the twins in their room.
She remembers being in the master bedroom afterwards with Kate, Mrs. Payne, Gerry, Russell and David Payne who were sitting on the bed as E.L.K. sat on the floor. David suggests they contact the press, but Russell disagrees, calling for calm, and to let the police do their jobs. At that moment Kate appears to lose control, crying and asking over and over “where is she?” Gerry remains calm, except for one occasion where both Kate and Gerry were heard crying from the main bedroom.
00.00.27 Kate calls Sue and Brian Healy (128 seconds)
00.05.00 Gerry calls Brian and Janet Kennedy (3 seconds)
00.05.45 Gerry calls Trish Cameron (3 seconds)
00.06.15 Gerry calls Brian and Janet Kennedy (2.47 minutes)
00.13.14 Gerry calls Trish Cameron (3 seconds)
00.13.50 Kate calls Sue and Brian Healy (407 seconds)
00.21.36 Gerry calls Trish Cameron (23 seconds)
00.23.12 Gerry calls …. (3.55 minutes)
00.27.07 Trish Cameron calls Gerry (2.28 minutes)
00.29.37 Angela Morado at UK Consulate calls Gerry (4.53 minutes)
00.36.21 Kate calls … (31 seconds)
00.37.05 voicemail calls Kate (0 seconds) SMS
00.38.40 … calls Gerry (6.40 minutes)
00.39.58 Kate calls voicemail (34 seconds)
00.40.50 voicemail calls Kate (0 seconds) SMS
00.45.15 Brian and Janet Kennedy call Gerry (1.18 minutes)
00.45.49 Kate calls voicemail (31 seconds)
00.47.23 Aurélio Guerreiro calls Kate (2.39 minutes) to offer help, at the request of Pat Perkins. A man answers the phone.
00.47.41 Angela Morado at UK Consulate calls Gerry (2.15 minutes)
00.53.08 … calls Kate (0 seconds) SMS
00:40-00:50 – V.M.M., a Policia Judiciaria officer, arrives on the scene. On entering the apartment he asks that everyone present leave, attempting to preserve a potential crime scene. A request was made to the Ocean Club services director to move the family to another apartment while the room is investigated. VMM is introduced to Kate and Gerry. Kate being too upset to talk (‘less receptive to conversation’), he converses mainly with Gerry. After the isolation of the scene, he prepares to make an inspection along with Deputy Specialist J.B..
J.B. states that the people inside the apartment and its environs entered and left the building and circulated in the whole apartment freely, without any restriction or care for the preservation of the scene, including the bedroom Madeleine had disappeared from. It was requested that the twins be removed from the room. At this point, as he begins his inspection, he is told by a GNR officer that they had already searched for Madeleine in the wardrobes and other possible hiding spots in the apartment without having taken precautions against leaving their own traces or adulterating any traces that might have been of interest to the investigation. Gerry McCann makes it known that he has contacted Sky News about the situation.
00:30-01:00 – Two timelines that have been written on covers ripped from Madeleine McCann’s stickerbook are given to the GNR.