This is the spot where Maddie could have been cast into the sea, an expert fears. Former cop Paulo Pereira Cristovao, one of Portugal’s most senior missing children investigators, says caves 20 minutes from Praia da Luz were never searched.

Cristovao – ex-president of Portugal’s Association for Missing Children – searched for clues at the time of Maddie’s disappearance. He said: “There are caves hidden below us – it is the first suitable place they would have come across when fleeing the apartment. Police would have needed divers to search under the water and inside the rocks, but they did not come here.”Fearing the worst, Cristovao said: “All anybody would need to do is weigh her body down and cast it into the sea. The sub­aquatic caves would keep her hidden forever if the waves did not take her away. The police did not look here because it was too difficult.”

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