The family of Madeleine McCann, the 3-year-old girl who was abducted while visiting Portugal with her family from England six years ago, might have new hope today. Authorities have released a previously unseen composite image. The man pictured is thought to be a potential suspect in the case of the missing toddler.
The computer generated image shows a man between the ages of 20 and 40. The suspect is thought to have been in the resort town of Praia da Luz during the time Madeleine was kidnapped. While a lead like this is jaw-dropping and can't help but inspire hope, it also begs the question -- why is this image being released six years after the baby was taken?
Scotland Yard explains that it is only now, years later, that they have a full understanding of the timeline during which Madeleine was abducted. This new timeline serves to underscore the importance of places and people previously not considered as having any involvement in the crime. The authorities now turn to the public for help. It's a strong tactic that sends a clear message. They haven't give up on Madeleine.
They are hoping that releasing the sketch will be the first step toward apprehending the suspect. This is the latest in a series of new developments in the case since this past July. Madeleine's family and the team working hard to solve the case are well overdue for new information to bring about justice. To finally have a face of someone whose involvement might provide answers is just the sort of break the case needs. After six years, such a break is astounding in the best possible way.
Do you think this new image will help solve the crime?
Image via Handout/Getty; Sang Tan/Corbis