Man who exposed Jimmy Savile believes Madeleine McCann left apartment on her own on night she disappeared
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For years, people have been trying to work out what happened to Madeleine McCann.
In 2007, the three-year-old disappeared from her family's villa in Praia da Luz, Portugal, and she was never seen again.
Since that tragic day, there have been a number of leads police have followed, but they have been unable to determine once and for all where she went and who, if anyone, took her.
However, investigative journalist Mark Williams-Thomas, who was responsible for exposing Jimmy Savile's sick crimes, says he thinks he has an idea of what happened.
Speaking to LADbible for the Extraordinary Lives podcast, the 52-year-old said he had pored over the evidence, and spoken to a number of witnesses about Maddie's disappearance, and come to one conclusion.
He told us: "So when I looked at Madeleine McCann... I brought all the information together, read all the police files, I spoke to all those key witnesses around there, and I had a contact via one person removed from the family, and so I was able to pull all this information together.
"And my conclusion is that on that night of Madeleine's disappearance, she woke up, looking for mum and dad, and she'd been told the following morning that if she were to wake up, the parents were only in the tapas bar, which was just across the courtyard.
"What we do know is that her brother and sister had woken up on the previous nights a number of times, and I suspect as a result of that, Madeleine thought, well, where is mum and dad, as they'd been out on those previous nights as well."
Williams-Thomas went on: "So I believe she woke up, she left the apartment, we know the apartment was insecure, the back patio door was open to allow some flow of air, it was very hot.
"And so I believe she got up and went wandering looking for her parents."
Watch the full interview:
Williams-Thomas explained that Maddie would have had to have gone out onto a main road in order to get around to the courtyard, where her parents were.
And citing two infamous cases in the UK - Genette Tate, who vanished in 1978, and Sarah Payne, who was murdered in 2000 - Williams-Thomas explained that it was most likely an unplanned abduction.
He said: "What we know about abductions is when they are stranger abductions, they are opportunistic.
"If you abduct a child and you know who that child is, which is the majority of child abductions, then, of course, that's planned and you know who the child is.
"But when it's opportunistic, when it's not somebody known to the child, that is not planned, in terms of who the victim is."
Adding: "So I believe she walked out on the road, and in a matter of seconds, was abducted by a predator outside."
You can listen to more of the Extraordinary Lives series here.