Theories on the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann

Netflix just recently released a new documentary “The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann” that has been getting a lot of attention. Let me start by giving a background story. 

***** Spoiler Alert*****

Madeleine McCann was a three-year-old English girl who went missing on the evening of May 3, 2007, when she and her family were vacationing in Portugal. She had gone missing a few days into her vacation when her parents were at dinner with other friends that they had been vacationing with for the week. The parents had the same routine every night. They would put the children to bed and then go to dinner across the pool from the apartments where they “could still see the apartments,” but it was later determined that they actually could not see their apartment from where they were. So, what happened to Madeleine McCann? Where is she?


Theory #1

The most talked about theory is that Madeleine was abducted by human traffickers in Portugal. Some believe that the family was being watched all week long by middle-aged men and the men knew the family’s routine and went to kidnap her when the parents were not paying attention. While at dinner, the parents would take turns checking on the children every 30 minutes (or so they said.) So, a theory is that the men were watching the apartment and seeing when the parents were going in to check on the children, and then sneaking in afterward. The two younger children that were also in the apartment were later found to be drugged with sleeping medications after they determined Madeleine was gone. The theory is that men drugged the children to keep them asleep while they took Madeleine.

Another suspicion that led investigators to believe this is because one woman who was also on the vacation with the McCann family saw a suspicious man walking across the street with a young sleeping child in his arms as she was going to check on her own children.

There was no evidence in the apartment that led police and investigators to be able to trace to any suspects. This abduction was done too well to have not been done by someone who is an expert with doing this. This is another reason many believe it was done by people who have done this many times before.


Theory #2

Another theory that many believe is that she was abducted to be sold to a family who was unable to have a child and took her in as their own to raise. Witnesses at the Ocean Club Resort reported that they saw suspicious men hanging out around the resort a few days before Madeleine went missing. These men could have easily just been human traffickers, but there is a chance that they could’ve been criminals that were getting paid a lot of money from a wealthy couple who wanted them to kidnap a child for them. Madeleine might have fit the perfect description of the type of child they were looking for. A witness, who was on his way to work the morning after Madeleine McCann went missing, reported that he saw a couple standing on the side of the street with a young girl in their hands that was blonde and looked about the same age as Madeleine. He reported that as his headlights caught them in the light they became very suspicious and began to run as if they were doing something that they did not want anyone to see. So, why would they be running away if they were just standing there with their own child?


Theory #3

Another theory that some may believe was that the parents accidentally killed Madeleine. Although this is an insane theory, the parents were in fact questioned and investigated by the police for quite a while. The investigators in the case had cadaver dogs come into the apartment that they had been staying in to dry to sniff out human remains and blood. While they were searching, the dogs began to bark at a couple of points in the house, which looked as if there had been blood. The dogs also sniffed the family’s car that they had been renting while on vacation, and the dogs in fact barked for evidence there, too. For a while, the media began to portray the parents as killers due to the fact that this evidence came out. Their names were later cleared months later and they were found not guilty. So, you may now be wondering, what would make the police believe the parents killed their own child? Well, it had been determined that there was sleeping medicine in the younger siblings’ systems, so people started to believe that the parents may have given the children drugs to help them stay asleep, and maybe gave Maddie too much that killed her. Although this is a theory, it seems insane to me.



There have been a few leads in the investigation, but none have led to the finding of Madeleine McCann. She would now be 15 years old if she is in fact, still alive, which I believe is true. If she was dead I feel as if the police and dogs would have found evidence that would lead to her body, but they haven’t. I believe that someone had a plan that they had been putting together during the family’s vacation and waited until the right time to take the young child.

If you are interested in creating your own theories and following the mysterious search for Madeleine, check out the new series on Netflix, “The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann.”