Monday, 10 March 2008
The Portugal Resident 10/03/08
"The operation started shortly after 10am near the dam’s level control tower as the information obtained Mr Aragão points strongly to that area of the lake.
The search is being directed by Martin Falkous, who has five divers from Dive Time, based in Lagos, plus two from the Portimão Bombeiros who have joined the operation in their own time.
They have been trained in searching for bodies and were invited to participate by José Paias, who is sponsoring the operations"
"Martin Falkous said that they were looking for a body or body parts. If anything is found, the divers have been told not to bring it to surface but instead mark the spot with buoys for another boat to be called to carry out recovery.
Visibility in the water is very poor and the divers are using touch and feel in their search. With mud being between one and two metres deep at the bottom of the water, the colour changed from a dark green to light brown within seconds of the divers beginning the search."
"Because of these conditions, Martin Falkous has instructed the divers to bring up to the surface any strange objects, or objects out of the ordinary, that they find to be identified.
When divers arrived at the dam this morning, Marcos Aragão Pereira was already there with his assistant Telma Fernandes, and José Paias, one of the partners of SPEC, Lda, an engineering company based in Portimão which is sponsoring 50 per cent of the cost of the operation.
A few minutes later, Heldér Braz, who is in charge of the dam’s monitoring and control system, joined the group as Marcos Aragão Pereira asked INAG, the national water agency which controls all the dams in the country, to allow the divers to go inside the water tower tubs.
This followed the first phase of searches, held in late January and February, when divers found an entrance covered by a metal grate and could not search inside the water tubes leading to the tower.
The system is used to water the fields located in the south side of the dam and the last time they were accessible was in 1998, when the dam was emptied.
The search is expected to continue until the end of the week and Marcos Aragão Pereira has said that if Madeleine McCann’s body is found in the Arade dam, he will reveal all the information related to the tip-off that has led to the search."
I haven't seen any news on TV or on news agencies' web sites yet, but I have heard that the PJ flew into Birmingham airport earlier today.
From Enfants Kidnappés:
"Lettres rogatoires" "Dans la suite des épisodes concernant les lettres rogatoires, on apprend qu'entre un et trois détectives portugais seraient partis pour les R-U. Notons, qu'il serait prévus de multiples interrogatoires qui ne se limiteraient pas qu'aux amis et parents. On parle d'un minimum de 14 personnes qui seront interrogés par la police britannique assisté de leurs homologues portugais."
In the follow-up to the episodes concerning the rogatory letters, we have learned that between one and three Portuguese detectives will have left for the UK. We note that multiple interrogations are anticipated, which will not be limited to the friends and parents. There is talk of a minimum of 14 people who will be interrogated by the British police, assisted by their Portuguese counterparts.
This is very interesting news. Previously, I had read that three people were to be interrogated by the British police; Russell O'Brien, Jane Tanner and David Payne. If this is true, that a minimum of 14 people will be interrogated, then I wonder who the others are. There is much speculation on internet forums this evening; the two nannies who worked in the Ocean Club creche; Jez Wilkins, who was the person on holiday at the same time as the McCanns, who chatted with Gerry outside the apartment on the evening of May 3rd; friends and family of the McCanns who received phone calls following the discovery that Madeleine had disappeared.
Rumour has it that the PJ will be in the UK for three days, departing on the 13th. I wonder if the UK press will follow their progress, or if any news will come from reports in the Portuguese, French and Spanish press? If the news from Enfants Kidnappés and talk on the forums is accurate, the PJ will have a few busy days. Good luck to them! I do hope that their visit will serve to move this investigation forwards.
"Mari Luz aurait décédée dans les 48 heures qui ont suivi sa disparition"
"Les résultats provisoires de l’autopsie au cadavre de Mari Luz, retrouvé vendredi passé, ont révélé que la petite espagnole aurait décédée dans les 48 heures qui ont suivi sa disparition.
Mari Luz, âgé de cinq ans, avait disparue le 13 janvier dernier, après avoir sortie de chez elle pour aller acheter un paquet de chips dans un kiosque, à proximité de la maison de ses parents dans le quartier d’El Torrejon, à Huelva."Mari Luz would have died in the 48 hours following her disappearance.
The interim results of the autopsy on the body of Mari Luz, found last Friday, have revealed that the little Spanish girl would have died in the 48 hours following her disappearance.
Mari Luz, aged five years, disappeared on January 13th last, after having left her home to go and buy a packet of crisps from a shop near her parents house in the in the El Torrejon district of Huelva .
"Vendredi soir, après la découverte du corps, Juan Jose Cortés, le père de Mari Luz, a identifié le cadavre de sa fille, constatant qu’il présentait un important coup sur la tête."
On Friday evening, after the discovery of the body, Juan Jose Cortés, Mari Luz's father, identified the body of his daughter, noting that it showed a significant blow to the head.
"Les mêmes résultats d’autopsie ont pu déterminer que le coup n’a pas été la cause du décès, écartant également la possibilité de que Mari Luz aurait pu être étranglée. Vu l’état de décomposition du corps, la police scientifique attend la conclusion des examens radiologiques, toxicologiques et génétiques afin de déterminer avec exactitude la cause du décès."
These same autopsy results may have determined that the blow was not the cause of death, also dismissing the possibility that Mari Luz could have been strangled. Given the state of decomposition of the body, the forensic police are waiting for the results of the x-ray, toxicology and genetic investigations to determine with certainty the cause of death.
"L’endroit ou le corps de Mari Luz a été retrouvé, à proximité du quai pétrolier du fleuve Tinto, à quelques kilomètres de sa maison, avait été fouillé par la police et par des populaires dans les jours qui ont suivi la disparition. Des nouvelles fouilles ont commencé vendredi passé afin de retrouver d’éventuels indices."
The place where Mari Luz's body was found, near the Tinto river oil wharf, a few kilometres from her home, had been searched by the police and by local people in the days following the disappearance. New searches began on Friday with the purpose of finding any incidental clues.
"MISE A JOUR:
"Nous apprenons que le corps de Mari Luz a été retrouvé avec tous ses habits sur elle. Tous les vêtements qu'elle portait sur elle le jour où elle a disparu ont été retrouvé sur elle, sans exception. Ceci laisse à penser qu'elle n'aurait pas subit d'abus ou de sévisses. En outre, a ce stade de l'autopsie, on peut déjà conclure que la petite n'a subie aucune violence physique."
"Le corps de la fillette a été retrouvée à environs 13 km de son domicile. Il est probable qu'elle soit tombée, ou qu'on l'ai jetée, dans l'eau ailleurs que dans la raffinerie. En effet, la raffinerie est un endroit très surveillé par des gardes de sécurité. D'autre part, de hautes clôtures entourant le site rendent peu probable, pour ne pas dire impossible, que ce soit à cet endroit que la petite soit tombée, ou jetée, à l'eau.
"La police a fait venir des collègues spécialisés dans ce genre de disparition depuis Madrid et des chercheurs d'une université ont été requis afin d'analyser les courants pour déterminer l'endroit où la petite est tombée, où a été jetée. La police n'exclut pas la possibilité qu'il s'agisse bien d'un meurtre, que quelqu'un ait volontairement poussé la petite dans l'eau. Cette piste reste ouverte."
We learn that the body of Mari Luz was found fully clothed. All the clothes that she was wearing on the day she disappeared were found on her, without exception. This suggests that she had not suffered abuse or being held against her will. In addition, at this stage of the autopsy, it can already be concluded that the little girl was not subjected to any physical violence.
The body of the little girl was found around 13km from her home. It is likely that she fell, or that she was thrown into the water somewhere other than the refinery. In fact, the refinery is a place which is closely guarded by security guards. On the other hand, high fences surrounding the site make it unlikely, not to say impossible, that it was at this place that the little girl fell, or was thrown, into the water.
The police brought in colleagues from Madrid, specialising in this type of disappearance and researchers from a university have been engaged to analyse the currents to determine where the little girl fell, or was thrown. The police are not excluding the possibility that it is murder, that someone deliberately pushed the little girl into the water. This track remains open.
"Le papa de Mari Luz pourrait demander une deuxième autopsie."
Mari Luz's father may request a second autopsy.
Mari Luz's father is not excluding the possibility of a second autopsy to, "confirm the first and to reassure us also of the details of the findings. The only goal is to put our minds at rest," the father said. However, he absolutely does not place any doubt on the obvious professional competence of the Medico-Legal Institute, which is responsible for the autopsy, but he would like simply to have his mind put at rest and not leave any unanswered question.