Private detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have identified a convicted British paedophile, who was in the Algarve at the time the toddler went missing in 2007, as being of interest to the case.
According to reports in British newspaper the Mirror, Raymond Hewlitt remembers the weekend that Madeleine went missing and claims that he was in Fuseta, near Olhão, at a market close to where he had been camping in his van in Tavira.
However, reporters from the same newspaper have spoken with a couple who met Raymond Hewlitt while in the Algarve and subsequently reported their concerns to private investigators.
They told the Mirror: “Hewlitt befriended us but kept quiet about his terrible past. We were mortified and disgusted to discover the truth.”
Clarence Mitchell, the McCann family spokesman, said: “We are aware of Raymond Hewlitt and the claims that have been made. The investigators searching for Madeleine are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding Mr Hewlitt and these claims.
“Hewlitt is an individual of interest to the McCann investigation. Some newspapers are claiming that comments were made that led to potential interest in connection with the Madeleine case and, as a result, that is why the investigators are looking at him.”
He added: “I do stress that this is one line of inquiry.”