Dramatic twist as detectives hunt paedophile on the run in Portugal

Sep 26, 1997
Zuma Press

Sep 26, 1997
Photo Shows: Raymond Hewlett Irish Villages Of Dunfanaghy And Dunaff.

A British paedophile was the new focus of the hunt for Madeleine McCann last night. Former soldier Raymond Hewlett was living just an hour's drive from the resort of Praia da Luz when she disappeared in May 2007. He has a long record of sex attacks on young girls and is wanted by police in the UK and Ireland. Since Maddie's disappearance he has gone back on the run. Now, in a dramatic development, detectives working for Kate and Gerry McCann have flown to Portugal after a tip-off about 64-year-old Hewlett.

Sources close to the investigation said they were told he spoke to friends about Maddie in such a way that they suspected he was involved or knew what had happened to the three-year-old. Hewlett is described by detectives as 'cunning' and a 'danger to children' and operates by cruising in a van. He has posed as a police officer and befriended families to get access to their children.

The McCanns have never given up hope of finding their daughter. Earlier this month they marked the second anniversary of her disappearance from their holiday-apartment by releasing two new pictures to help the hunt. One was a striking computer-aided image of what she would look like today, at six.

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