MISSING Madeleine McCann is still alive, a sensational new Netflix documentary has claimed.
It suggests that people traffickers abducted the three-year-old in Portugal in 2007 – as a top child protection cop insists the 12-year mystery will be solved.
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann features 40 experts and key figures in the case, some of whom argue she was taken to another foreign country.
Jim Gamble, the top child protection cop in the UK’s first Maddie investigation, says: “I absolutely believe that in my lifetime we will find out what has happened to Madeleine McCann.
“There’s huge hope to be had with the advances in technology. Year on year DNA is getting better. Year on year other techniques, including facial recognition, are getting better.
“And as we use that technology to revisit and review that which we captured in the past, there’s every likelihood that something we already know will slip into position.”
WE’LL SOLVE MADDIE MYSTERY
The documentary – released tomorrow – also claims pretty Madeleine is likely to have been kept alive by child traffickers because, as a middle-class British girl, she would be more financially valuable.
Julian Peribanez, the private investigator hired by the McCanns, explains: “They usually go for lower-class kids from third world countries — that’s the main supplier of these gangs.
“The value that Madeleine had was really high because if they took her it’s because they were going to get a lot of money.”
Large sections of the eight-part series – which could see Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann sue an ex-Portuguese cop taking part – are devoted to exploring the human trafficking explanation, which regularly involves the supply of a child to desperate wannabe parents or sickening paedophiles.
The theory that she was taken by child-abusers was briefly considered when Maddie disappeared from her family’s apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal, on the evening of May 3, 2007.
She was left sleeping with her two siblings as Gerry and Kate dined in a restaurant within the Ocean Club resort where they were staying.
But the abduction line of enquiry wasn’t prioritised by bungling Portuguese cops – who instead devoted their time to trying to pin the blame on Gerry and Kate.
This detracted from the fact that the internet was increasingly normalising paedophilia, expanding their networks and fuelling the demand for child-snatching.
Mr Gamble adds in the show: “There is no doubt that human trafficking is a massive problem.
“On the internet you can go into those dark places and say, ‘This is who I am and this is what I do’. And you’re made to feel better about who you are because there’s so many others.”
The documentary explains how Portugal is also the perfect location for child traffickers because it’s a well-placed gateway allowing abducted children to be instantly taken overseas by boat or driven across Europe.
But there was is also fresh optimism from child abduction experts, including Ernie Allen, head of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the US.
He helped the McCanns in their search by creating an aged image of Maddie, who would now be 15-years-old, and tells how he has assisted in returning many other abducted youngsters to their families in similar circumstances.
In the documentary Ernie says: “There are many, many cases we can point to in which children have been found, have come home alive, after months, after years.
“There have been cases in the United States in which witnesses, people who have information haven’t come forward for decades, and then one day provide information that helps lead to the resolution of the case.”
The documentary, which will be available in full to Netflix’s 159million subscribers around the globe, has a reach which could provide a crucial witness or piece of evidence – and will also raise awareness of the case to a new generation.
Executive producer of the documentary, Emma Cooper, said: “We’re trying to lay out as much detail as we can about the case – and if it could jog someone’s memory in some way then that would be amazing.
“Keeping any search for what happened to Madeleine in the consciousness – particularly globally – is something that’s so important.
“As we show in the documentary, other children are found – so you have to hope.”
THE couple suddenly found themselves vilified in 2007 when the Portuguese police named them as formal suspects.
Dogs were said to have detected the presence of a body, and blood on Madeleine’s toy, in their apartment and in their hire car. It led to claims the McCanns, right, had given her too much sedative to get her to sleep.
But the documentary shows how experts view the evidence as unreliable and that naming the McCanns as suspects was a desperate act by police.
Jim Gamble said: “The police were clutching at straws.”
THE documentary suggests Madeleine could still come home alive.It points to the case of Jaycee Dugard, below — abducted aged nine in California and found 18 years later.
The series also cites Carlina White, snatched as a baby from a New York hospital in 1987. She learned the truth at 23.
The father of Elizabeth Smart — kidnapped from her home aged 14 and rescued nine months later — even contacted Kate to give words of support. Ed Smart said: “I told her to keep the faith, keep hope alive.”
FROM the moment Madeleine disappeared, cops were slow to respond and secretive about what they were doing.But under pressure, they soon began to leak information and act rashly.
The film features Robert Murat, a Brit living in Praia da Luz and the first named suspect, who says he felt like he was “being set up”.
Private investigator Julian Peribanzes also says cops just wanted to blame the parents. The officer leading the probe, Inspector Gonçalo Amaral, right, was sacked in October 2007.
THE secretive world of online child abusers can be now be thrown wide open.
Julian Peribanez worked at Metodo3, a Barcelona-based private investigation agency once hired by the McCanns.
He tells the documentary he infiltrated a paedophile ring sharing obscene videos and passed their details to police.
Former Head of Cybercrime Juan Carlos Ruiloba, left, said: “In the end 23 people were questioned and 13 arrested.
“Some of these investigations may lead to these minors being found and rescued from their captors.”
YEARS after Madeleine’s disappearance, and with the probe seemingly at a standstill, the McCanns gained support from The Sun.
In 2011, we published an open letter from Kate and Gerry to then Prime Minister David Cameron and a petition for readers to sign, backing our plea for the Met Police to look into the case.
Labour’s ex-Home Secretary Alan Johnson says in the series: “Nothing much seemed to happen and then The Sun picked up the campaign. Suddenly we got the right result.”
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FATHER Haynes Hubbard, of the Nessa Senhora da Luz church which serves Praia da Luz, tells the documentary the McCanns vowed to keep believing their daughter can be found until presented with evidence that she is dead.
Now a close family friend, Father Hubbard, left, said: “If anyone ever gave clear factual evidence that here’s Madeleine’s body or here’s clear evidence that she is no longer alive, then they’ll accept it.
“But until someone proves that Madeleine’s not going to come home they’re going to believe that she is.”
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