It has now been 12 years since Maddie vanished in Portugal, with her kidnapper managing to take the three-year-old within a 10 minute window when her parents Kate and Gerry were not in the holiday apartment.
In 2013, Portuguese police began probing an ex-employee at The Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz, the town where the McCanns had been holidaying.
Euclides Monteiro, had been fired from his job at the beach club for stealing from guests shortly before Maddie disappeared on May 3, 2007.
Portuguese media claimed Monteiro, a heroin addict, may have kidnapped the girl as an act of revenge against his former employer.
“My husband would never be capable of committing such a crime”
There were also theories that Monteiro may have stumbled upon Madeleine while burgling her parents’ room, The Telegraph reports.
But cops never got to question the disgraced former restaurant worker because he was killed in a tractor accident in 2009.
He was also missing from a list of current and former Ocean Club employees given to police during the initial investigation — and so was not marked as a suspect at the time.
Monteiro became as a suspect after phone records indicated he was near the McCann’s apartment at the time Madeleine went missing.
His widow Luisa slammed the probe, saying her husband “would never be capable” of such an appalling crime.
She was questioned by cops and searches for evidence at the couple’s home found nothing.
Luisa told Mirror at the time: “It is disgusting they are now looking for a dead man as a scapegoat.
“It’s very easy to blame someone who can’t defend themselves anymore.
“My husband would never be capable of committing such a crime.”
Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman for the McCann family, said at the time: “We are aware of reports in the Portuguese press.
“They are pure speculation and the McCanns are not going to give a running commentary on every new report.”