According to some reports the blonde girl looked to be "enjoying herself" in the company of adults - casting doubt on whether it could be the missing four-year-old.
However police in Malta are taking the claims "seriously" and have launched checks at airports and harbours. There have been a string of potential sightings of Madeleine across the world in the past seven weeks - including in Morocco, Argentina, Spain, Switzerland, north Portugal and north Wales.
However this is the first time since she went missing that there has been more than one alleged sighting in the same area.
Mr and Mrs McCann have been made aware of the reports but are not treating them as significant until they receive official guidance from Portuguese police.
Olegario Sousa, a spokesman for the Judicial Police, said that he was not aware of the sightings until he was told by a journalist.
The first witnesses - a British couple holidaying in Malta - contacted the local police on Saturday night claiming they had seen a girl matching Madeleine's description with a couple on Republic St in Valetta, the main street in the capital.
According to Maltese law, a magisterial inquest was launched and the witnesses gave formal evidence of what they had seen in a private court hearing in front of magistrate Miriam Hayman.
Police sources said officers have been carrying out checks at airports and harbours. Photographs of the young girl have been distributed to police and officials working at ports.
Police have tightened security arrangements at the Malta International Airport and at other entry and exit points. Plain clothes officers were also making inquiries at holiday resorts.
They were seen at St George's Bay, a popular family resort on the east coast of the island, and at Manoel Island Marina - where Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich often berths his superyacht.
The investigations were being coordinated by the Police Vice Squad. Assistant Commissioner Michael Cassar confirmed today that police had received new reports that Madeleine had been sighted on the island.
The girl was always accompanied by at least one adult - on one occasion by a female and on another by male adult.
Meanwhile Mr and Mrs McCann will tomorrow lead a global event, releasing 50 balloons in at least 50 countries to maintain awareness of Madeleine's disappearance.
In Afghanistan it will be marked by a specially arranged kite racing event and in Ventura, Southern California, 50 white doves will be released.
The parents of missing Madeleine McCann are said to be remaining focused on their search for their daughter amid reports of a series of possible sightings in Malta.
Reports said a girl matching the four-year-old's description had been sighted in the capital Valletta at the weekend.
But a spokeswoman for parents Gerry and Kate McCann said they are not giving credence to the claims at this stage and are focusing on events to boost awareness of her disappearance.
The reports follow possible sightings across Europe and as far away as north Africa, but it is the first time that claims have been made public of a possible sighting on the Mediterranean island.
Meanwhile, Ray Roberts, from Anglesey, North Wales, said he saw a girl in Sliema wearing what he said was a jet black wig being told: "Get up little girl" by an Arab-looking man.
A man in his 40s and a younger woman then ran off with the girl, he said.
"It was obviously not his first language so it seemed odd that he had to speak to her in English," he said. "As a father, their reaction did not seem natural."
He added: "The more I think about what I saw the more convinced I become that it may well have been Maddie. The oddness of it all played out in my mind until I got home then I realised I had to do something."
The possible sightings come as Mr and Mrs McCann prepare for a balloon release to mark the 50th day since Madeleine's disappearance.
Madeleine was snatched from her bed in her parents' holiday flat in the village of Praia Da Luz on the Algarve on May 3.
Rupert Murdoch has a SMOM Papal Knighthood. (Sovereign Military Order of Malta)
Investigators searching for Madeleine McCann are examining a report from India that a young girl matching her description was spotted in the market of a Himalayan city. The Chandigarh Tribune said that a British woman had seen a youngster bearing a remarkable likeness to Madeleine who disappeared four years ago. She would now be eight years old. Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Madeleine’s parents Gerry and Kate McCann, said: 'Our private investigators are aware of the reports from India over the weekend about a possible sighting of Madeleine. 'We are liaising with the Indian authorities over the incident and await the results of the DNA test.'
Madeleine McCann (left) shortly before her fourth birthday and (right) how investigators believe she might have looked aged six. Madeline would now be aged eight
The town of Leh in northern India where the youngster may have been spotted
The sighting was made in the northern city of Leh which lies in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It’s the northernmost state of India and is situated mostly in the Himalayas. The report in the Tribune said a British woman raised concerns with other tourists that they had found the missing girl. At one point an American man is said to have tried to take the girl from the couple. However the French woman and her Belgian husband, who had their passports copied by Leh Police, insist that they are the parents of the girl. A spokesman for Leh police told the Chandigarh Tribune in India: 'It all depends upon the evidence like DNA for which help from Madeleine's parents and the British police was required.' Madeleine was days short of her fourth birthday when she went missing on a family holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007. Maddie's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann marked the fourth anniversary of their daughter's disappearance privately with family and friends. They recently launched a book about how she disappeared with proceeds from the book, entitled Madeleine, going towards the funding of their search for their daughter. Despite a massive police investigation and huge publicity worldwide, she has not been found. The official Portuguese inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance was formally shelved in July 2008, although private detectives employed by the McCanns have continued the search.
This picture of Kate and Gerry McCann was taken two months ago. The couple marked the fourth anniversary of the disappearance of their daughter with the publication of a book written by Kate titled Madeleine, Our Daughter's Disappearance And The Continuing Search For Her
In her most recent interview, Mrs McCann said she believes the kidnapper who took Madeleine may also have drugged her other two children. She said she had to check that twins Sean and Amelie were still breathing because they did not wake as the frantic search for the missing three-year-old began. She also believes the man who snatched her daughter may have gone to the holiday flat the night before but fled after being disturbed. In May this year, David Cameron asked Scotland Yard to carry out a review of the investigation to bring a 'new perspective' to the case. But the move prompted questions about why the review could not have been carried out earlier, when evidence was fresher. And critics will question whether there is any realistic prospect of a breakthrough in the case, which has seen no major developments since Madeleine’s disappearance on May 3, 2007.
I can see this find has caused a lot of interest, just to be clear ,I have posted the link to the Police for them to investigate..Hopefully with an officer who cannot be bribed by MURDOCH...ONLY if the police ask me to remove it will I do so.
Quote from blogger:
You can moad all you like, but no moderator has helped sort out imposters all, infact, cause this imposter has access to my personal settings, and if I'm not mistaken, the only person I know that can hack into personal setting on the net that has a problem with me, is Jim Gamble and the McMafia paedophile mob at CEOP.
I aleady exposed his paedophile ass for hacking Gerry McCann's crime file's in the Law Enforcment data base using CEOP's mainframe and emptied out the file of the evidence tha Gerry used his credit card's to download ilegal child porn off the net and ended up being charged for having over 200,000 indecent images of children and babys beiing sexually abused and murdered and for trafficking his own produced video's of child abuses and murder, which landed him on the UK National Child Sex Absue Offence Register.
You can check it out yourself that IS Gerry's registered as a paedophile and got caught in Operation Ore in 2006 before he took his family to Praia de Luz and faked his daughter Madeleine's abduction, tjhen tried to make out that he's had his credit card's stolen the same month he reported his daughter being abducted in London Heathrow in May 2007 to make people believe he was a victim of credit card fraud if anyone found out he'd been caught downloading ilegal child porn on his own computer!
From: DC443 J.N. HUGHES
To: SIO, Operation Task
Department: Main Crime Unit
Date: 16th May 2008
Subject: Background Information- Gerald McCANN
A search of the local section of the child abuse shows a registration number 19309 in the CATS system. A consultation with the DC Soand from the department in question confirms that this is just a file reference, but as a complement to Operation Task system for the purpose of reference.
You can believe it or not, but the SIO, Operation Task, Main Crime Unit is where all the UK's paedophile data files from Operation Ore are kept, the registration of Gerry's paedophile crime's reference file exist's, but Jim Gamble and his McMafia paedophile mob hacked it a couple of month's pior to Gerry's family holiday in Praia and removed the evidence, a habit of Jim Gamble's he's had since he was in the Serioous Crime Squad in Ireland, of which reports exist to prove this! The hacker who is impersonating my account work's for Jim Gamble at CEOP, this is their link:
Now wouldn't it be a laugh if it got round the globe how easy Youtube is to hack and access people's accounts and impersonate them and Youtube did nothing about it, I think that would be Youtube's downfall, cause there's quite a lot of other public site's that have better hacking security than Youtube does at present!
The ALLEGED paedophilia incident between Gerry McCann and Dr.David Payne
The Portuguese police were told by British police: “The McCanns have no credit or ATM cards”. But their flights to Portugal and hire of a Renault Scenic in Portugal were paid with credit cards. Then Gerry McCann admitted having credit cards, saying they went missing after his wallet was stolen. He gave two different places where his wallet was stolen: Waterloo Station - or ‘near Downing Street’.
Extracts from newspaper articles, with relevant sections highlighted in red
Gerry McCann had his wallet stolen during a brief trip to London, losing two "irreplaceable" photos of his missing daughter Madeleine. Mr McCann was returning to Britain for only the second time since the four-year-old was abducted. He returned for a series of meetings about his global campaign to find his daughter. Around an hour after Mr McCann flew into Gatwick his wallet was stolen from his back pocket at a cash machine at Waterloo station in London. Philomena McCann, his sister, said that after all the goodwill directed towards Mr McCann and his family in Portugal, the theft in London was a "demoralising" sign of the times. She said: "He bent down to put something in his rucksack and some dirty animal had the wallet out of his back pocket. We don't care about the money, but we do care about getting the pictures back."
Metro The father of Madeleine McCann has had his wallet stolen including cherished pictures of his missing daughter that he kept in it. Thieves targeted Gerry McCann, a cardiologist, near the Foreign Office in Whitehall, while on a brief visit to London. Mr McCann had flown from Faro to Gatwick yesterday for a series of meetings about his abducted four-year-old daughter. Susan Healey, mother of his wife Kate, said it was 'yet another kick in the teeth'. She added: 'Gerry is not clear exactly how his wallet was stolen. he did not see them take it. It contained precious photographs which have now been lost forever.
The Times of India Gerry McCann, father of Madeleine McCann, who went missing from the resort town of Praia da Luz on May 3, had his wallet stolen during a brief visit to the British capital Tuesday, London's Evening Standard said. McCann's wallet was stolen close to Tony Blair's Downing Streetoffice after he arrived in London to interview candidates to head a campaign aimed at finding his daughter, the newspaper reported. "It contained precious photographs which have now been lost forever," the newspaper quoted McCann's mother-in-law Susan Healy.
HOWEVERthe London Evening Standard said Mr McCann was pickpocketed at a cash machine at Waterloo station in Central London on June 20
Extracts from Gerry McCann's blog, with relevant sections highlighted in red
Gerry McCann's blog2007.06.19 Day 47 Unfortunately shortly after arriving in London I had my wallet stolen which meant I was running late. I did manage to get to all my meetings which ran late into the evening.
Gerry MCann's blog2007.06.29 Day 57 Early rise this morning dropping off and picking up good friends from the airport. One of our friends from Amsterdam, who has been actively campaigning to publicise Madeleine's disappearance, dropped in to see us for a couple of hours since he is on a golfing trip in the Algarve. Our friends brought back my wallet which had been returned, needless to say minus the Sterling, although all my cards and €30 were still in it! It is good to have my driving license back and one or two other important things.
COMMENT: What thief returns a wallet containing 30 Euro ? What thief returns the wallet to McCanns home so a friend may return it to him in Portugal ?
McCann did not report the wallet stolen to police nor is there a record of him cancelling credit cards !
Pamela Fenn the lady who lived above McCanns apartment
She also refers to the day of the 1st May 2007, when she was at home alone, at approximately 22.30 she heard a child cry, and that due the tone of the crying seemed to be a young child and not a baby of two years of age or younger.
Apart from the crying that continued for approximately one hour and fifteen minutes, and which got louder and more expressive, the child shouted ?Daddy, Daddy?, the witness had no doubt that the noise came from the floor below.
At about 23.45, an hour and fifteen minutes after the crying began, she heard the parents arrive, she did not see them, but she heard the patio doors open, she was quite worried as the crying had gone on for more than an hour and had gradually got worse.
Last but not least we have Kates book ' madeleine'
Page 129 ' I think about Madeleines perfect torn little genitals '
Analysed by Detective Chief Inspector Peter Kirkham, former Scotland Yard murder squad investigator
Clue: Blood on window sill of apartment at Ocean World resort which matches Madeleine's DNA profile
Dci Kirkham says: "She could have reached this herself which means it is not necessarily suspicious. She could have cut herself or bumped into it so it is of interest but not significant on its own."
Clue: Blood on floor of apartment at Ocean World resort which dried fresh and matched Madeleine's DNA profile
Dci Kirkham says: "Children can fall over and bump themselves and it's unlikely that they do themselves a lot of harm. The significance of this depends on how much and the spray or pattern it forms."
Clue: Police teams still searching for Madeleine in surrounding and wider area of Portugal
Dci Kirkham says: "To find a body in any murder is absolutely crucial even after several months. It moves an investigation forward a million miles with new leads. There are soil samples to examine, other forensic traces to detect and items to examine. Without a body, you are at step one, with a body you are at step nine."
Clue: Blood, hairs and other bodily fluids in interior and boot lining of Renault Scenic
Dci Kirkham says: "This is much harder to explain away innocently. If there is more than a few spots that suggests something sinister. If there is bodily fluid from a decomposing corpse it is almost impossible to come up with an innocent explanation."
Clue: Search of the nearby villa which Kate and Gerry McCann rented after they left Ocean World Resort
Dci Kirkham says: "If the police believe a corpse has been moved they will ask, 'Where was it wrapped?' If there are traces in the car there would have been traces on clothes. If there were traces on clothes they could have been transferred to the villa."
Clue: Cuddle Cat, which Kate says she left with Madeleine but she says was found on a shelf afterwards
Comment : Kate lied there are no shelves in the room . Cuddle Cat was found on the bed with a small pink blanket.
Dci Kirkham says: "This was given as evidence that Madeleine did not wander off. But Portuguese police will not take it at face value now Kate is a suspect."
The ' sightings ' have begun' and sure enough 'Our Maddie' will once again become headline news taking away the great importance of HACKGATE. The McCanns owe the Murdoch Mafia a LOT, it is through them they have managed to 'clear' their name through the media and as they tour Australia telling the gullible folk about an abudction that has not one shred of evidence they are also removing HACKGATE from the front pages.
Metodo 3 ,not PAID to search for Maddie but to fabricate stories , pass them on to Clarence Mitchell who in turn handed them to people like Rebekah Brooks of the SUN to boost sales. Rupert Murdoch who believes he is above the law had decided the McCanns were innocent and refused to publish anything from Portugal that did indeed cast a very serious doubt over the couples innocence.
Gerry and Kate McCann, who once thought that they might never have children, had perfect lives until the unthinkable happened
Today is Madeleine McCann’s fourth birthday, but the party that her parents had organised before leaving for their holiday in Portugal two weeks ago will not be taking place. No children will be playing on the outsize climbing frame that Madeleine’s father spent three weeks erecting in their spacious Leicestershire garden. He will not be horsing around with delighted youngsters squealing on his back, as is his custom. The Doctor Who cake that Madeleine requested from her great-uncle and aunt has not been made. Cards and presents posted before she was abducted from the Mark Warner resort in Praia da Luz ten days ago remain unopened.
The party should have been another joyful occasion for a family whose happiness, before Madeleine’s disappearance ten days ago, had seemed complete. Gerry and Kate McCann, both 38, had three lovely children, blossoming careers in medicine, lots of friends and a handsome new house in a pleasant village in the green and comfortable heart of middle England.
“Their lives were perfect,” said Paul Macintyre, a fellow doctor and old friend from Glasgow. “Life could not have been any better for them until this happened.”
The McCanns will instead remain in their Portuguese hell, conscious that with every passing day their chances of recovering their daughter diminish.
It is a terrible plight, especially cruel for a couple who struggled so long to have children, and who have dedicated their professional lives to helping others.
“It always happens to someone else. You can’t believe it will ever happen to you,” said Mrs McCann’s uncle, Brian Kennedy, a retired headmaster who lives in the same village as his niece and looks exhausted after a week of dealing with the insatiable demands of the British media.
But the McCanns refuse to despair, even after a week of growing suspicion that Madeleine was abducted by an organised paedophile network rather than some desperate individual. The police are now said to be searching for two men and a woman seen driving a car with British numberplates.
Friends and relatives told The Times that the couple were “absolutely floored” immediately after Madeleine disappeared, but that they had recovered some of their poise. Jill Renwick, a family friend from Glasgow, said that Mrs McCann looked haggard and tearful, but “she’s very strong, she’s bearing up”. Mr McCann is concentrating totally on ways of recovering their daughter. The pair have won the admiration of millions of British and Portuguese this past week with their resilience, strength and dignity.
It was the McCanns, not the Portuguese police, who decided to issue a direct appeal to Madeleine’s abductors, and to release details of what she was wearing.
Mr McCann has been lobbying politicians and diplomats and mobilising friends and contacts in Britain.
He has been developing ways to keep his daughter’s case in the public eye through e-mail campaigns, internet posters, celebrity appeals, persuading European retail chains to display Madeleine’s picture in their stores and even asking medical centres across the Continent to look out for a girl with a slight iris defect. One of the family’s great fears is that Madeleine’s abduction will fade from the headlines, and with it their hopes that somebody will come forward with that vital snippet of information.
His brother, John, who returned from Portugal midweek, said that the Mark Warner group had flown out a counsellor from the Centre for Crisis Psychology in Skipton, Yorkshire, who had advised the McCanns that action was the best way of coping with their loss.
Dr Macintyre said of Madeleine’s father: “He’s incredibly determined. His attitude is absolutely remarkable. He goes into this mode of being very organised and very efficient and that’s the only way he can behave in this situation. He said unless he does everything he can to bring his daughter back he can’t live with himself.”
Another friend, who asked not to be named, said that Mrs McCann had needed several rounds of IVF treatment before becoming pregnant with Madeleine. “She really was a miracle child to them. . . . She is the most precious thing in their lives.”
Determination has always been a hallmark of the McCanns. They are both high-achievers from working-class families, she from Liverpool, he from Glasgow. Mrs McCann studied medicine at the University of Dundee, qualified as an anaesthetist, then retrained as a GP because the work would be easier to combine with motherhood.
Her husband was the youngest of five children of Irish immigrants. His father was a joiner; his mother worked in a biscuit factory. He went on to study medicine at the University of Glasgow, became Scotland’s under19 1,500 metres running champion and briefly dabbled in sports medicine. It was through contacts that he made working with Scotland’s under21 football team that Cristiano Ronaldo and John Terry were persuaded to issue appeals for Madeleine. Yesterday David Beckham lent his voice to the cause.
The McCanns met when both were junior doctors at Western Infirmary, Glasgow, and when she left to work in New Zealand for a year he followed and won her heart. They married in 1998 and moved to the Midlands in 2000 when he was offered a job as a cardiologist at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester. She went to work at the Latham House Medical Practice in Melton Mowbray under her maiden name, Dr Healey.
Mrs Renwick remembers sitting by the pool with Mrs McCann during a holiday in Majorca six or seven years ago and lamenting their mutual inability to have children.
In late 2002, however, Mrs McCann finally became pregnant with Madeleine through IVF, and in 2004 became pregnant again with twins.
The McCanns spent that year in Amsterdam, where he was working on new heart-imaging techniques.
Back in England the family moved into a large house in an upmarket development in Rothley, a straggling village a few miles north of Leicester where William Wilberforce once plotted his antislavery campaign in the local manor and, much later, Mike Gatting forfeited the England cricket captaincy by taking a barmaid to his hotel room in the same manor house.
Rothley boasts the street with the most expensive properties in the East Midlands, according to aSunday Times survey, although in reality it is a village of mixed incomes with five pubs, three churches, a primary school and library.
There they were building a happy family and professional life. Mr McCann would cycle six miles to work and played golf when he had time. His wife would go to the gym and take the children swimming. She was due to start working two days a week instead of one and a half when she returned from Portugal. They attend Rothley’s Roman Catholic church.
It is hard to find anyone with an unkind word to say about the McCanns, with their energy, zest for life and obvious love for each other.
Doug Skehan, clinical director of cardiology at Glenfield hospital, described Mr McCann as “extremely popular, someone we have a deep affection for”.
Tim Smith, a GP in Melton Mowbray, said that Mrs McCann was “lovely, warm and engaging – everyone thinks that”.
Valerie Armstrong, landlady of Rothley’s Royal Oak pub, where the McCanns sometimes go for lunch or dinner, said: “They are lovely, gentle, caring people.” She said that they would let pnly their nanny or relatives babysit the children, and chose the Mark Warner resort precisely because they thought that it was safe.
What incenses the McCanns’ friends is the suggestion that they neglected their children on the night that Madeleine was abducted.
Mrs Renwick recalled a medical reunion in a Perthshire hotel a few months ago, where Mrs McCann said that her husband should attend the dinner by himself so that the children would not be left alone.
Dr Skehan said that Mr McCann was committed to his work but did not stay late because “he genuinely wants to be part of his children’s lives”.
Mrs McCann’s uncle, Mr Kennedy, said that the couple were, if anything, overprotective.
The McCanns are so easy to identify with as people, and to feel for as parents. There is scarcely a mother or father in the land who has not briefly left a child alone, or experienced the blind panic of momentarily losing one. As Dr Skehan remarked: “We all feel, ‘There but for the grace of God go I’.”
Relatives say that the McCanns have been sustained in their agony by the support they have received.
A colleague of Mrs McCann offered a reward of £100,000 even before yesterday announcement of a £1 million reward by the Scottish businessman Stephen Winyard. There have been prayer meetings in Melton Mowbray, Glenfield Hospital and, last night, Glasgow Cathedral. Several hundred people attended a vigil in Rothley on Tuesday; the village’s churches have been open around the clock. On Thursday morning 300 pupils from the primary school encircled the war memorial to pray for Madeleine’s return.
The memorial has become the emotional focal point for the village. Its railings are festooned with yellow ribbons, pictures of Madeleine, teddy bears and poignant handwritten messages. “Dear Maddy,” reads one, “I am thinking about you right now.
Anyway, you are nice as roses.
Love from Vanessa, Jane, Barby. Age 7. PS I left you some flowers.”
have often asked questions about this Nanny. All we know she is Canadian and she went back to Canada as her mother was ill. She was BOOKED to go to Portugal but let them down at the last minute (must have made the McCanns furious as they were hoping for lots of adult time!!). I would have thought that Team McCann would have been very happy for her to be interviewed by the world media with story of how wonderful Kate and Gerry were as parents etc. I am amazed this opportunity has been missed and find it very odd indeed that we have had total silence from her
Here is a bit from the article on timesonline in which a landlady from the Royal Oak pub speaks about their nanny. Old interesting article..........................................
[snipped] Valerie Armstrong, landlady of Rothley’s Royal Oak pub, where the McCanns sometimes go for lunch or dinner, said: “They are lovely, gentle, caring people.” She said that they would let pnly their nanny or relatives babysit the children, and chose the Mark Warner resort precisely because they thought that it was safe.
A month after the suicide of Pieter Boshoff, the respected founder of Missing Children SA, startling details have emerged about the children’s rights crusader’s dark secret life involving gay teen pornography, theft, spiralling debt and an alter ego called “Riaan”.
Boshoff’s suicide leap from the fourth-floor of an upmarket apartment building he was renting in Bloubergstrand shocked many Capetonians including Western Cape Premier Helen Zille who described his death as “devastating”. But those close to him say it seems Boshoff’s two lives were starting to converge, and he decided to kill himself.
After his death, thousands of photographs and video clips of teenage boys having sex were found on Boshoff’s computers, among pictures of Boshoff posing with high-profile figures including Zille and Patricia de Lille. There were also photographs of Nelson Mandela and a letter from Desmond Tutu for one of Boshoff’s websites.
This week, friends and colleagues told Weekend Argus they had discovered that Boshoff, 38, fabricated stories about a son called “Loakie” whom he said had died at the age of nine, and a trust fund that he claimed he would have access to when he turned 40.
When Boshoff left Missing Children SA in 2008 he joined MylifE, an outreach organisation that works with youth at risk. He left there about five months before he died.
Former MylifE managing director Sarah Peacocke said Boshoff knew a lot of celebrities.
“We joked he had ‘celebrityitis’. He loved to be pictured with celebs which he’d put up on Facebook.”
He had photos of himself with celebrities like presenter Michelle McLean and UK pop singer Estelle, sports stars such as Benni McCarthy and politicians like Kgalema Motlanthe, De Lille but mostly of himself and Zille.
Peacocke owned the Bloubergstrand apartment Boshoff was renting – and lived in the one below him.
After he died she found photographs and video clips of gay porn when she accessed his computer. “I was gobsmacked – there must have been 10 000 or more.”
She said there were also saved conversations from chat-room sites Boshoff had visited where he had been very explicit about what he wanted to do. “He’d say he wanted a toyboy. He was targeting boys still at school, probably around 16 or 17 years old.”
She also found some of her post, including bank statements, and cellphones that belonged to her in his apartment.
“I also found a voucher from Cash Crusaders for a MylifE laptop which he had sold for R850 and a modem for R150.”
Boshoff had told Peacocke and her husband Vince that he wanted to buy the apartment when he got access to his trust fund, and would take over the bond until then. But he defaulted on it and regularly borrowed money from the couple and other people. When he died he owed them nearly R50 000, according to a letter he had signed.
Peacocke said Boshoff had tried to kill himself two weeks before he jumped. “He taped the bathroom doors shut and took two of my dining chairs and filled oven trays with charcoal which he set alight. He climbed into the bath and told us he wanted to die from carbon monoxide poisoning.”
More than a month later the apartment still reeks of smoke and there is smoke damage in the adjoining bedroom.
“I saw it more as a cry for help than a serious attempt on his life. Pieter was good at playing the victim,” Peacocke said.
On Friday October 1, the day he died, Boshoff went down to Peacocke’s apartment at 9.10am.
“He was fine; happy. He said he was meeting a guy who was interested in buying one of his websites, www.capetown.fm, and then we could go to the bank at 10am and he would deposit our money.”
“When he was late Vince was going to call him but we thought we’d give him a few more minutes.”
At 10.20am Peacocke heard a thud.
“Then my mobile rang and Philip the security guard said ‘That tenant of yours has just jumped off the building and he’s dead’. I said, ‘Don’t joke.’”
But when she went downstairs she saw Boshoff’s body. He hadn’t left a note. Linzi Thomas, MylifE founder, said she had trusted Boshoff because of his background with Missing Children SA and his apparent close relationship with Zille.
She said he was also very close to the police and had senior officers’ cellphone numbers, including that of former Western Cape police commissioner Mzwandile Petros.
“He was brilliant at networking and he was online 24 hours a day. He used our laptop and wouldn’t let it out of his sight.”
But when Boshoff left MyLife five months ago saying he was going to work for the DA, he took the sponsored laptop with him.
“We didn’t think anything of it at the time but when we asked him for it back he always had an excuse.”
Thomas said a week before he died she went to his flat to ask for the laptop. “I was shocked at what he looked like. He had put on about 10kg and the flat was in a mess and stank. He hugged me and told me he was struggling.”
Boshoff told her he’d sent the laptop to Cape Town with a friend. After he died it emerged that he had sold it to Cash Crusaders.
“It was only when we got the laptop back that we realised Pieter had stolen five of our IBM computers which he sold on Gumtree as well as my camera.” Thomas said they gave the laptop to the police to examine and when they got it back there was nothing on it. But a computer boffin at MyLife restored it and found hundreds of video clips and photographs of gay teen pornography. Boshoff had logged on to gay chatroom sites with the user name “Olahatzi” where he befriended teenage boys.
Peacocke said that after Boshoff’s funeral his elderly father had told her that when Boshoff was nine his mother had shot herself and the youngster had found her body.
That trauma of that must have piled up over the years, especially when he was working for Missing Children SA, she said.
“Sometimes dealing with others people’s trauma helps you deal with your own.”
Peacocke said she was still trying to unravel Boshoff’s complex story. “Right now I have so many questions and wonder if anyone can shed any light on it.
“I don’t think what he did in his personal life should detract from the good he did with Missing Children (SA).”
She said that besides the computer and clothes, all that was left in Boshoff’s apartment when he died was a list of celebrity phone numbers and some personal documents – all of which fitted into a small bag.
Boshoff had started Missing Children SA in 2007 to help find missing children and to offer support to their families.
Judy Botes, Missing Children SA’s spokeswoman, said the reason Boshoff left in 2008 was because he had a nervous breakdown.
She said she was aware of Boshoff’s debt and Missing Children SA had closed all banks accounts in his name when he left.
Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said Boshoff’s death was still being investigated as a death inquest as no foul play was suspected. -
The publicity surrounding their case has soared since they were officially named as suspects in disappearance of their daughter by Portuguese police and they are thought to have wanted a more heavyweight representative.
Until now they have been relying on the skills of former Liberal Democrat candidate Justine McGuinness, 37, who was appointed to head the find madeleine campaign in June.
She was employed through a headhunter hired by the McCanns but is due to stand down today, a move that had been expected.
The couple are believed to have been in talks with several big name players in the PR industry. They know the furore over their case will not die down until there is an answer to what happened to their daughter.
One of the leading contenders is the former News of the World and Hello! editor Phil Hall who has been in regular contact with the couple since Madeleine disappeared.
Now the head of his own PR firm, Mr Hall is understood to be considering taking over the mantle.
Madeleine's disappearance has received unprecedented coverage around the world, partly because of the couple's willingness to use the media to publicise their missing daughter.
In the first days after she went missing, British government officials helped the couple handle the extraordinary attention they received, taking calls from as far as Argentina, Japan and Australia.
Sheree Dodd, a former tabloid journalist and then Clarence Mitchell, a former BBC news reporter, took on the task.
Mr Mitchell travelled with the couple as they visited Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Amsterdam and Morocco to highlight Madeleine's case.
In June, they appointed Miss McGuinness.
But now there is a "cloud of suspicion" hanging over them, they need a new strategy to deal with the attention and increasingly negative publicity.
They remain besieged by the media at their home in Rothley in Leicestershire while a large number of journalists have stayed in the Algarve in case the McCanns are forced to return.