On 3 May, 2007 a young girl, a few days away from her 4th birthday, disappeared from a holiday apartment in the seaside resort of Praia da Luz, Portugal where she and her 2 year old sibling twins had been left unattended while the parents ate dinner in a nearby restaurant with holiday friends.
The official police investigation, led by the Pol\u00edcia Judici\u00e1ria (the Portuguese Criminal Investigation Department) and supported by members of British CID and specialists in telecommunications and forensics, did not find an abductor.
During that investigation an Enhanced Victim Recovery Dog (EVRD) indicated possible traces of human remains in the apartment, on articles of the mother's and the child's clothing and in a vehicle hired by the parents. A Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) dog indicated traces of human blood in the apartment and in the vehicle in the same places indicated by the EVRD. Collected samples were sent to the British Home Office laboratory at Forensic Science Services in Birmingham, England where Low Copy Number DNA tests were pronounced as being unresolvable due to contamination by at least two other persons.
The parents insist that their daughter was the victim of a rare stranger abduction. They believe she is alive and continue to look for her. They are supported morally and financially by many of Britain's highest politicians, law practitioners and wealthiest individuals.
They have received financial support estimated to be in excess of \u00a35- million: \u00a31.5-million from a sympathetic public; \u00a3925,000 from libel settlements; an unknown value in payment of legal fees, spokesperson remuneration and investigation agency contracts. There is a \u00a32.5-million reward for the girl's return.
Since the release of the 30,000-page official case file to the world media on 4 August 2008 the British media have been almost silent. The British Government retains control of an additional 11,000 pages of evidence as yet not released.
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