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Madeleine McCann Investigators Say 18 Assaults May Be Linked

British police investigating the mysterious 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann say they're looking into a total of 18 potentially linked assaults.
Posted at 3:51 PM, Apr 23, 2014

A new development in the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann.

"British police investigating Madeleine McCann's disappearance are now looking at 18 potentially linked break-ins by a lone intruder into villas in Algarve." (Via BBC)

"The Metropolitan police revealed they're looking at six new incidents: five new cases of sexual assault of British girls on holiday in Portugal and one 'near miss' where the intruder was essentially stopped before he attacked." (Via Channel 5 News)

CNN reports this means there are now 18 "potentially linked crimes" at Portuguese resorts near the one where 3-year-old Madeleine disappeared during a family vacation in June 2007.

According to The Guardian, these six new cases were reported after police issued an appeal for information last month about a predator breaking into hotel rooms of British families who were on vacation.

Authorities had described the suspect as a tan man with short, dark hair who spoke in English with an unknown accent. ABC points out they did not release any new information about the suspected intruder Wednesday.

Scotland Yard told the BBC it hopes to begin "operational activity" in Portugal as soon as possible. It's unclear exactly what those operations will involve.