Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Mark Harrison report: The turning point at Praia da Luz

Resume and excerpts from Mr. Amaral's book, “The Truth of the Lie”:

On July, Mark Harrison (1) arrived at Praia da Luz.

He started working immediately, always accompanied by PJ investigators and police officers from Leicester and Scotland Yard. All necessary resources were made available, and he had total access to institutions and experts on several areas, and access to all confidential information related with the investigation” (page.154)

After an week of intensive work, Mark presented a report with the conclusions of his analysis to the investigation coordinators and the news, in spite of being expected, weren't good. In fact, that report admitted one of the worst scenarios for the investigators: the possibility that Madeleine could be dead, and her body hidden in an area near Praia da Luz” (page 155)

His (Mark Harrison) understanding was that it was the moment to consider new searches, taking into account the possibility that the child was dead and (her body) hidden nearby” (page 155)

(...) the expert (Mark Harrison) suggested that, in order to follow this new line of inquiry, and on this particular case, specialized dogs should be used, specifically an EVRD (2) with advanced training to detect dead victims' cadaver scent and a CSI (3) dog, able to detect human blood” (pages 156/157)

Concerning the places to search, Mark suggested that investigators should concentrate in the apartment where the family has been, and also in the other Ocean Club apartments, where stayed the group of friends that were on holidays with the (McCann) family (...)” (Page 157)

Mark Harrison also suggested:

  • new and deeper searches” to Murat's home;

  • forensic searches” to Murat and his friends' cars and to the McCann couple car, with the EVRD and CSI dogs;

Based in the report from the British experts, a plan for the new searches was prepared” (page 157)

(1) Mark Harrison, National Search Adviser, NPIA, and National Crime & Operations Faculty (NCOF) Special Adviser is also the National Search Adviser in relation to Homicide, missing persons and mass fatality disasters for the Police service within the United Kingdom. Working for the National Centre of Policing Excellence he has 20 years Police service. He provides case consultancy services to all UK Police Agencies and in addition where requested overseas consultancy for example USA FBI, US Army, Australia, Middle East and South America.

His particular focus is on complex serial or multiple cases where human remains are being sought within a large geographic area. He specialises in harnessing a multi discipline approach of police, military, academic and commercial experts to enable conjunctive reconnaissance to determine a specific area to search. He has authored best practice guidance for the British Police service on searching for missing persons and victims. He has developed scenario based search models and the use of behavioural profiling to assist in successful search strategies.

(2) EVRD: Enhanced Victim Recovery Dog

(3) CSI: Crime Scene Investigation