The parents of Madeleine McCann have released artist’s impressions of the man they believe abducted their daughter.
It is understood the images – which depict a man of southern European or Mediterranean appearance walking with a child in his arms – were drawn by an FBI-trained forensic artist from the eyewitness account of Jane Tanner, one of the group of friends who dined with Gerry and Kate McCann on the evening the little girl disappeared.
She said she spotted the man striding from the area of the McCann’s apartment but had not realised the relevance of what she saw at the time.
The man drawn by the artist has greasy, straggly hair, wearing a purple or maroon top and beige chinos. He is aged about 35 to 40, 5ft 6in (1.7m) tall, and of slim build.
Crucially, the child, with her legs dangling, is wearing the same pyjamas as Madeleine on the evening of May 3.
To ensure accuracy, where Jane Tanner could not be certain, the artist left details blank.
The release of the images, commissioned by private detectives working for the McCanns, was given the “tacit approval” of Portuguese police, said the McCann’s spokesman, Clarence Mitchell.
Mr Mitchell said: “This is another important phase of our investigation into Madeleine’s abduction and we hope that this picture will be a very important reminder to anyone who was in the area on that night who may have seen this man.
“We believe that this was Madeleine being carried away by a man from the apartment, so we place great importance on having these pictures produced.”