This information belongs to the Ministério Público in Portimão, Portugal.
It was released to the public on 4 August 2008 in accordance with Portuguese Law


3885 to 3888 Witness statement of Nelson Filipe Pacheco da Costa 2007.10.17
12-Processos Vol XII Pages 3885



Witness Statement

Date: 17-10-2007

Nelson Filipe Pacheco da Costa

He comes to the process as a witness, as an officer from the Lagos GNR, he has worked for the Guarda for 13 years.

He confirms the integrity of his previous statements.

Regarding the facts on 3rd May, when he was on patrol with his colleague Roque in the Odiaxere zone, they received a radio communication from the central, telling them to go to P da L, specifically to the OC resort reception where the father of a little girl who had gone missing was. When they were on their way to this place and in the Valverde area, they received a new communication, informing them that this was a very young child and that her father had called again. They continued on their way, now with urgency, heading for the main reception of the resort.

When they arrived they saw the girl’s father, a friend whom the witness describes as tall and blond, an OC employee and a translator who was also an OC employee, named Silvia Baptista.

After hearing about the circumstances of the disappearance (from the father with the help of translation) he does not remember whether the word abduction was mentioned, and he went in his police car, to the apartment, accompanied by the father, the friend and the translator. When he arrived at the apartment he saw that the wooden door, now referred to as the main door, was closed and he thinks someone who he cannot identify opened it. When he entered, there were other individual apart from the mother, he does not know how many but there was at least another couple present.

Then, with his colleague, he searched the apartment. He opened all the cupboards of the bedrooms, living room and kitchen and he checked under the beds and in the fridge. He did not see the washing machine. He did not see anything strange during the search and there was no sign of a break in. As regards the bed clothes of the child’s bed, he found it to have a normal disposition.

He found it notable that when they were still at the main reception, the father kneeled down, laying his head on the ground and crying, at the same time as making an expression which the witness did not understand.

After the search of the interior, his colleague went to check the area around the apartments and the Tapas Bar, while the witness remained next the apartment, just outside it. At that moment a female individual, he does not know whether she was a member of the group of friends, who was in the neighbouring apartment, said that she saw an individual carrying a child, running, and that because of the pyjamas she was wearing it could have been Madeleine. It was in these circumstances that abduction began to be talked about. He made a report about this situation and sent it to the police.

This sighting did not seem to him to be very credible, because when he asked her about the physical characteristics of the individual, she said it was very dark, however she saw the pyjamas clearly.

When asked, he said that at that time he also saw a lot of local people, who were searching for the missing girl.

Whilst he was outside he talked to the witness mentioned previously and to some residents who had not seen anything. He exchanged some words with the mother, who was crying and only asked for more police officers.

When questioned about the bedroom windows, he only remembers that blinds of the window of the girl’s bedroom were not totally closed. He does not remember about the existence of curtains or whether the window itself was closed.

He says that in the apartment there were two beds and two cots placed in Madeleine’s room, he does not remember their position. The children never woke up, he is sure, not knowing what position they were in, however he found this situation to be very strange, as a lot of noise was made.

As regards the parents, he says they were nervous and anxious, emotional. He adds that upon observing the scene it did not appear to him to be an abduction, but rather a normal disappearance where the child had left by her own means.

As regards the living room sofa, next to a curtain, he cannot be sure whether the sofa was against the wall.

He also refers to a situation at about 02 or 03.00, that the parents asked for a priest and his colleague had tried to contact one on his mobile, but did not manage to find one.

He also emphasises the situation that someone, who he cannot identify, having contacted Sky News and the Embassy that night. He does not know if were the parents.

He also notes that he saw various photographs on normal A4 paper of the girl, which had been printed at the reception, as well as other photos on photographic paper, poster type 10x15, that could not have been printed at the reception. This seemed unusual to him and he later confirmed that it was not possible for them to have been printed at the reception.

He has nothing else to add.

Reads, ratifies, signs.


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