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Madeleine McCann Anniversary: Taxi Driver Claims He Picked Up Maddy Night After She Disappeared

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Kate and Gerry McCann still hope to find Maddy alive | PA

A taxi driver who believes he picked up Madeleine McCann the night after she vanished has claimed that Portuguese police ignored his report.

Kate and Gerry McCann's spokesman said it was "deeply shocking" that detectives never interviewed Antonio Castela about his possible sighting of the missing child.

Castela, 72, went to the Policia Judiciaria (PJ), Portugal's CID, after three men, a woman and a young girl resembling Madeleine got into his cab on the evening of 4 May 2007 in Monte Gordo in the Algarve.

This is about an hour's drive from Praia da Luz, where the British child had vanished from her family's holiday apartment the previous night.

The taxi driver drove the group two miles to the Hotel Apolo in Vila Real de Santo Antonio, where they drove away in a blue jeep.

Castela told the Evening Standard: "After I went to the police, I never heard anything from them again.

"They did not seem to take me seriously and never questioned me. They simply took down the details and that was it.

"I am amazed that it has been five years and nobody has ever asked me what I saw that night. I am absolutely certain it was her."

McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Mr Castela did absolutely the right thing at the time by reporting his sighting to the PJ.

"It is clearly deeply shocking that he now tells us he has not been interviewed once by a detective in five years.

"This is exactly the sort of thing that needs to be looked at in the investigative review now being carried out by the Metropolitan Police.

"Kate and Gerry remain very happy that the Met are performing their role as efficiently as they can."

Earlier, the McCanns spoke of their renewed hope that their daughter Madeleine will be found five years on from her disappearance.

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Taxi driver's Madeleine McCann 'sighting' ignored