22 Comments

Radio Stoke speak to Susan Moyes

radio stokeBack in 2007 Radio Stoke spoke to Susan Moyes who owned an apartment 2 floors above the McCanns holiday rental apartment.

In part of her interview she spoke of the night Madeleine went missing she said:

SUSAN MOYES Sure. We went out for a meal about seven o’clock down in the town. We walked back about nine o’clock, round past, erm, the church, round past the supermarket, back to the apartment. Went out on the balcony about quarter past nine. Everywhere was peaceful, everywhere was lovely. We then went to bed. We were woken up at half past eleven at night by one of the friends of the McCanns to say a little girl had been abducted. Those were the words she used. So we got dressed and joined in the search. We were out till about four in the morning with, oooh, about I dont know, thirty people, thirty other people maybe. The Mark Warner team were out with other guests at the Ocean Club.

The full interview can be listened to here, with the transcript below:

Transcript

REPORTER This is a story you’ve followed incredibly closely because you were involved on the night. You helped the police and the family in looking for Madeleine didn’t you?

SUSAN MOYES Yes we did and yes, very, very concerned. Concerned for the family and followed it every day, every day.

REPORTER Can you take us back to that night and what you were doing and when you first heard there was a problem?

SUSAN MOYES Sure. We went out for a meal about seven o’clock down in the town. We walked back about nine o’clock, round past, erm, the church, round past the supermarket, back to the apartment. Went out on the balcony about quarter past nine. Everywhere was peaceful, everywhere was lovely. We then went to bed. We were woken up at half past eleven at night by one of the friends of the McCanns to say a little girl had been abducted. Those were the words she used. So we got dressed and joined in the search. We were out till about four in the morning with, oooh, about I dont know, thirty people, thirty other people maybe. The Mark Warner team were out with other guests at the Ocean Club.

REPORTER Now, to put it into perspective. We’ve all seen pictures of of the apartment were the McCanns were staying. How close is yours to theirs?

SUSAN MOYES Directly above. We are but one above. Mrs Fenn who lives there was in the apartment below us and then below that was the McCanns. So directly above.

REPORTER And you were out there for a considerable period of time.

SUSAN MOYES Yeah, we went out there on the Wednesday, the day before Madeleine went missing and we were out for the month of May.

REPORTER Tell me about the effect all of this has had on the local community there.

SUSAN MOYES It was unbelievable. Really apart from the disruption from the mass media, the helicopter constantly circling round and sheer disbelief really. Everybody was completely, well, amazed by it, gobsmacked really.

REPORTER What, I mean what were the local community saying to you? Because obviously being out there such a time you must have spoken to a lot of people about it. It must have been, if you like, the talk of the town.

SUSAN MOYES Mmm. There was a lot of criticism of the police which we felt was unfounded, err, at that time. Really a lot of unsure about exactly what happened. How did somebody get in? Was it the front? Was it the back? Was it left open? Was it forced? A lot of different stories.

REPORTER Speculation if you like.

SUSAN MOYES Absolutely, absolutely, yeah, yeah!

REPORTER We’ve got a copy of the newspaper here. In fact its one of today’s newspapers, the Express and its still front page news, of course, back in the news.

SUSAN MOYES Big style. Yeah! Yeah!

REPORTER How do you feel when you see the pictures here in the newspapers? I mean have you collected newspapers over the period?

SUSAN MOYES Oh yeah! I get the paper every day anyway but obviously followed it very closely. And I just, disbelief. No way, no way do I feel they were any way involved in it. Not at all. No.

REPORTER How do you feel they’ve been treated?

SUSAN MOYES I think, erm, initially it was very supportive. Personally, I think, probably if they had left the Algarve maybe a month ago, erm, it would have been treated more favourably, I think.

REPORTER Its difficult to know how to handle that kind of situation from their point of view, though I suppose isn’t it?

SUSAN MOYES Beggars belief, it beggars belief, yeah. You just don’t want to be in that situation. But, yeah. I can’t understand the turn of people’s attitudes towards them. Some being really quite nasty, unfounded and wrong I think.

REPORTER Have the newspapers got it right in terms of where they were that evening, I mean the distance from the restaurant to the apartment and what have you?

SUSAN MOYES Well, yeah, as the crow flies they are probably about right with the fifty yards. But in actual fact you have to – its walled off, the pool and the bar is in a walled area about six foot of wall. So you have to actually go through a little entrance building out onto the road and then round to their apartment.

REPORTER And line of sight? Is there any?

SUSAN MOYES Difficult. They wouldn’t have had vision of the whole of their balcony. They would have only had the top of it from where they were sitting because of the wall and because of the flowers on top of the wall.

REPORTER How do you feel about the criticism of the McCann family for leaving their children?

SUSAN MOYES Harsh, very, very harsh. Hand on heart, we’ve all done something like that, I think. And erm, no, its just unfortunate. Just a sad, unfortunate accident.

REPORTER And how do you feel having been, if you like, being swept along with all this, having been a part of this story from the start, being there at the time when it all happened. I suspect as a family you must have talked about this over the dinner table for weeks and weeks and weeks.

SUSAN MOYES Yes, we have, we have. And I just can’t get my head around it at all. I can’t. I can’t understand it and I don’t, I don’t know if it’ll ever be resolved, really.

REPORTER You are off back to Portugal soon I gather. And how do you think Praia da Luz will be when you get back?

SUSAN MOYES Yeah, we go back in a couple of weeks and my husband has actually said for the first time he is going to feel very differently about it. No, I’m fine about it. I’m fine about it. But yeah, its a shame, its kind of tainted what is a lovely, lovely spot.

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22 comments on “Radio Stoke speak to Susan Moyes

  1. Hi, Bren. 

    SUSAN MOYES Yeah, we went out there on the Wednesday, the day before Madeleine went missing and we were out for the month of May.

    They were 2 floors above, but I don’t seem to be able to find a police interview. 

    Mrs Fenn, in between them, wasn’t interviewed until 20/8. 

    • Carana, I have been looking and there is no mention of her at all in the files.  Now why didn’t they get a statement from her, she states that a friend of the McCanns woke them up to tell them Madeleine had been abducted and she states that is all “she” said.  So it could have only been Fiona, Rachel, Jane or Diane that knocked on their door.

    • And this is from the Guardian 0n the 6th May 2007

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/may/06/madeleinemccann

      Police, dogs and dozens of holidaymakers joined the search on the first night. Among them were Paul and Susan Moyes, who have been visiting the resort for six years and own property there. ‘It would normally be very safe,’ said Paul.

    • And this is from the BBC on the 5th May 2007

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6628891.stm

      Paul and Susan Moyes, 58, from Middlewich, Cheshire, stayed out until the early hours of Friday morning.

      “I felt quite shattered, to be quite frank,” Mr Moyes said. “The people were themselves extremely sad and it was quite sad for everybody.

      “We were quite emotionally shattered, seeing the family that distressed.”

    • And this article is updated much later (October 2007) than the comments and they started on the 4th May 2007

      http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23395014-maddy-was-abducted-and-we-have-a-suspect-in-mind.do

      Paul Moyes, 47, from Cheshire, and his wife Susan own a holiday apartment in the same black as the McCanns. He said: “There was a knock on the door at about 11.30 from a hotel guest telling us a girl was missing and asking us to help in the search.

      “There were uniformed police, plain clothes and even off-duty local officers. The search went on all night, people were using torches.

      “We searched the beach and the hotel grounds with scores of people. Quite a few of us own holiday homes here so it’s a close-knit community and something like this is terribly shocking.” Michael Hannar, from Pontefract, Yorkshire, owns a ground floor apartment close to the McCanns.

      He said: “I don’t believe a three-year-old child would have been strong enough to open the window or shutter.

      “Mine are difficult to open, especially if the window is fully closed. The shutter is also difficult to open.”

    • Now I thought they police would have got statements from all of those searching that night, including the Moyes.  Mrs Moyes claims a female friend of the McCanns woke them.

      Mr Moyes stated how distressed the family were, surely the Police would have wanted to ascertain what was said to them, who said what and when it was said, don’t you think?

      Also did they see anything suspicious whilst they were on the balcony?

      These people were involved in the search so they are witnesses.

      Also I found this, 

      http://www.people.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/2007/05/06/knock-broke-quiet-night-93463-19053684/

      A BRITISH couple told yesterday how frantic staff knocked on tourists’ doors to beg them to join the search for Maddie. 

      Paul and Susan Moyes, both 58, were woken in their apartment at 11.30pm. 

      Mr Moyes said: “I went out in my dressing gown and there was a distressed gentleman saying a child had been abducted and could we help. Everybody got involved.” 

      The couple, whose holiday apartment is above the one where Maddie was snatched, remained on the search until 4am. 

      They said many off-duty police in plain clothes joined the hunt. The couple, from Middlewich, Cheshire, were caught up in the drama after returning from an evening out. 

      Before going to bed they went on to their balcony and looked over at the tapas bar where, unknown to them, Maddie’s parents were dining. 

      Mrs Moyes recalled: “I remarked to Paul that there were so many people in there eating and drinking – and thought, ‘What a fabulous day’.” 

      Her husband said they felt “emotionally shattered” when they later witnessed the distress of Maddie’s family. 

      The couple said they thought Praia da Luz was idyllic and safe. Mrs Moyes added: “It is paradise.” 

      Now there is a change in story here, in one interview she said it was a female friend of the couple then in this article she states how Staff knocked on the doors.  Surely the police would want to clear up who actually knocked on her door, was it a member of staff or a friend of the McCanns?

  2. Bridget O’Donnell says it was “one of the doctors” (male) who had frantically banged on their door at 1 am.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/dec/14/ukcrime.madeleinemccann

    And Paul Moyes said:  “I went out in my dressing gown and there was a distressed gentleman saying a child had been abducted and could we help. Everybody got involved.”

    Could well be the same one and the People just assumed it was staff. 

    • The thing is Carana, Susan Moyes definitely states that it was a woman that banged on the door and told them a child had been abducted and it was a friend of the McCanns.

      She says:

      We were woken up at half past eleven at night by one of the friends of the McCanns to say a little girl had been abducted. Those were the words she used.

      This is why I can’t believe there is no statement… all those press reports lead you to believe it was a man but she definitely says she and this interview was done on the 14th August 2007, just after the dogs and before arguido day.

      So why wasn’t this clarified by interview.

      • Yes, she does say “she”. And her husband mentions a man. Possibly a man and a woman and each remembers the other person? They might have given a statement to the UK police, which could explain why there doesn’t appear to be anything in the files. 

    • From what I can remember, Diane went back to the apartment, Fiona stayed with Kate and Jane and Rachael hung around the courtyard and when the Police arrived Jane went to tell them what she saw. 

      This is why I think Susan and her husband should have been interviewed, so they could identify which friend told them.  If none of the Tapas women did knock on a door that was on the second floor, who did?  And why did they say they were friends of the McCanns?

      This is why it is crucial that Police gather as much info as they can as it is fresh in people’s minds.

      With reference to they might have given a statement to the UK Police surely there would be a record of it in the files or a mention of it.  I have searched MOYES and nothing comes up, not even in an email saying they are enclosing statements.

      You know, when there is confusion and people out searching and pandemonium all around, that is the easiest way for a perpetrator to mingle in with the crowd and conceal anything they may have forgotten to hide.  Or even deter someone from searching somewhere by saying they had already searched that area or knocked on that door and nothing was found.

      The McCanns and their friends didn’t know the area but a local would have known the ins and outs and it should have been ascertained who was knocking on what doors.

      Why didn’t Amaral for a start pick up on interviews being conducted on Radio stations back in the UK and pick up on things?  Was he so concerned by that stage to frame the parents that he ignored everything else?

  3. Here is a picture of the apartments and who stayed where

  4. The more I think about this, the McCanns had their daughter taken, and I can’t see any organised search papers, maps of areas covered by holidaymakers etc.  Who went where, what they saw, what doors they knocked etc.

    All these people could have had potential information that could have found Madeleine, and yet there is no real statements.

    God no wonder Kate and Gerry were feeling desperate and thinking not a lot was happening.  It is ok everyone looking for a missing child, but surely they had designated areas, knew where they look and whose  doors they knocked on.

    Just another part of the investigation that seems haphazard like the basic knowledge of who has keys to the apartments and who doesn’t, where they are kept, have any been lost and had to be replaced etc?  Along with the information about these burglaries and whether there was forced entry or not.

  5. Well, it would have been a huge logistics nightmare for a small police force before further assistance arrived. And there were the forensics police, the GNR and the PJ all running around, plus the residents, tourists, temporary or permanent staff… The mass arrival of the media, few people probably understood each other’s language, the infrastructure was almost certainly not equipped to deal with it …

    I have no problem imagining what chaos it must have been in the early days. 

    That said, I do think it might have been more useful to check with those involved in the search, and the whole key issue, earlier rather than later (or never). 

    • Oh I agree Carana, initially everyone I suppose just went out and searched, I suppose thinking this child had wandered off.  But once the McCanns explained the reasons why she couldn’t have wandered off.  
      Patio door was not open even though unlocked, gate at top of stairs still shut etc, the curtains were not open etc  then it turned from wandering off to abduction.

      That is when the Police really should have set up a command post dealing with searches and people searching.  At least noting down areas searched, who searched where and names and addresses and contact numbers of those searched.  If they could get statements initially they would have at least had who was searching.

      It is those pieces of information that could lead to a breakthrough.  One of those people searching might have seen something that did not seem relevant to them but added to another piece of information was the breakthrough they needed.  They could have seen a car or another vehicle. They could have been knocking on a door where the lights were on and no-one was answering.

      Yes the language barrier was an issue, but surely they had translators on hand for those that didn’t speak any Portuguese or even broken English.

  6. Picking up on a point, Bren, I don’t recall anything in the files to explain why people had left rotting food in the fridge of one of the apartments that one of the early sniffer dogs found interesting. It could be totally innocent (simply holiday-makers forgetting to empty the fridge before leaving, or there could have another reason for someone being in a rush to leave).

    • Good point Carana, now if the flat was being let out surely the cleaners would have cleared the fridge and given it a wipe out.  And rotting meat in a fridge would you would have smelt as soon as you opened the door.

      Yes it was apartment 5J with regards to searches done on the 10th May 2007 and it appears the fridge door was open 

      http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/GNR_SNIFFER.htm

      All the apartments were searched by the dogs and when they arrived at apartment 5 J they began to sniff with intensity at the entrance door. During this behaviour it was noted by the PJ officers that there must be some unusual odour, but which with all certainty did not have anything to do with the odour being searched for, but there must have been something strange inside.

      After entering the apartment, it was observed that the dour came from close to the fridge, which was open and contained some rotting meat and vegetables.

      And this is in relation to three days earlier 7th May 2007

      On 7th May the same searches were continued, being extended to to the entire northern part of Almadena to the site of Espojeiro and the verges of the EN125 until the Boi valley.

      At about 19.. the undersigned officer, accompanied by the Commander, Officer Silva, took part in a meetings with the PJ Directorate, being asked by the PJ about the viability of giving the girl’s clothes to the dogs for the dogs to sniff again, and if by means of the odour inhaled, they would be able to mark an identical odour in one of the resort apartments even though its door was closed.

      With regard to this task, Officer Silva referred to the fact that the time that had passed would be a crucial condition for the dogs’ work in obtaining results and that the entirety of the human odours existing in the apartments and access paths could make the dogs’ searches very difficult. However, in spite of not being a normal situation for tracking, it could be attempted, whilst the operation should be carried out as quickly as possible and not directed towards one but to all the apartments in the resort, it being appropriate for the handler not to know which apartment was chosen, so as not the be conditioned.

      In this concrete situation, the objective would be for the dogs to carry out a discontinuous search, in other words, to sniff the girl’s clothes and immediately search near to the apartments, checking to see if there was any change in the behaviour of the dogs.

      At about 23.00 accompanied by a PJ inspector, the searches were begun. After Rex was given the girl’s clothing to sniff, he began to search on the ground floor of block 5 and when he passed the door of apartment 5 A (the place the girl had disappeared from) according to his handler, officer Fernandes, the dog altered its behaviour, sniffing with greater intensity than he had done before. Apartment 5J of the same block was also checked as the dog had been more agitated than before as if there were a very strong strange odour there. It was stated that this apartment had been unoccupied for some time. Afterwards, the same kind of search was carried out using the dog Zarus which in general terms showed the same behaviour in the same places as Rex had done.

      And apartment 5J is mentioned herehttp://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/PEDRO_ESTEVES.htm

      Yesterday (08/05/07) around 23H45, this search action was repeated but was centred on the dogs inside blocks 5 and 4 of the resort. He adds that in this type of operation, given the time that had lapsed, and with the heat that could already be felt, the results obtained may be highly relative given that the dog will confirm all the scents it comes across. It is certain the dog will react to more active scents, namely because the apartment is occupied. Also, any noise perceived by the dog in the apartment may make the dog loose interest. 
      – Initiating the diligence, the first sniffer dog, after having smelled the towel used in the previous operation, began searching, it being certain that next to the doors of some apartment he demonstrated major interest whilst he did not even approach others. In none of these actions did the dog give him a signal that he had caught the scent of the missing child. It is certain however, that near apartment 5J, 5H and 4G, that the dog showed major interest in smelling the doors and the immediate areas. He states that next to 5H, there were two bags of rubbish which may condition the dog. Just outside apartment 4G was a tray with plates, cutlery and cloth napkins, apparently used. It is certain that this apartment is the one where the missing child’s parents were lodged (at the time). In relation to the dog’s interest at doorway 5J, the same may have been conditioned by the presence of people inside the apartment.
      – After completing the search in the interior of block 5, verandas and apartment access, and whilst in the exterior, the sniffer dog took the same route he had taken on 04/05/07, being the road between that apartment and the leisure area-pool sand restaurant, and headed toward the same parking area. There he lost the scent of the search. This situation may be explained by the fact that the biggest concentration of odours in that location have been preserved and protected from the winds due to the adjoining walls. When this dog got to the main road, he turned right where a large dispersion of odours existed. Here the dog lost the scent. 
      – The second dog was submitted to the same operation. He too showed interest in the door of apartment 5J. Here he got up on his hind paws to the parapet of the veranda and raised his head in such a way as to catch the odour. As mentioned previously, this interest may be due to various factors but it is certain that at this location the dog scented an intense odour. In the exterior, the sniffer-dog immediately took the first road, heading toward the parking area next to block 6, and there lost the scent. 

      If I am reading this right the dogs alerted to apartment 5J on the 7th and the 8th May 2007 and it wasn’t until the 10th May 2007 that they discovered the rotting meat from the fridge.

  7. I don’t think that the cleaner was responsible for 5J.

    Owner occupancy maybe.

    • I don’t think they were, and that is what I am thinking Owner/Occupier, which in that case, still begs the question, they were looking for a missing child.  A sniffer dog picked up a scent on the 7th May 2007 and yet they waited until the 10th May 2007 to find out it was rotting meat coming from a fridge.

      And from the files 

      It was stated that this apartment had been unoccupied for some time.

      Who stated the apartment had been unoccupied for some time?  Could someone have had access to it illegally and without owners permission?

      Where is all the background information relating to apartment 5J.  You can smell rotting meat a mile off, and they state the fridge door was open.

      After entering the apartment, it was observed that the dour came from close to the fridge, which was open and contained some rotting meat and vegetables.

       

        

  8. And from another statement:

    http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/ANTONIO_SILVA.htm

    – Yesterday (08.05.2007) around 23H45, this search action was repeated but this time the dogs were sent into blocks 5 and 4 of the ‘Ocean Club’ resort. During this operation, and given the time that had passed combined with the heat, the results that were achieved are very relative given that the dog will confirm all the odours it scents, certainly alerting to those that are most active, namely due to the fact that the apartment was occupied. It is also noted that the dog’s perception in the interior may be affected by noise. 
    – The initial diligence carried out with first sniffer dog, after having sniffed the towel used in the previous operation, began searching and showing interest in some doors leading to other apartments. He did not show any interest or even approach other apartments. In none of these actions did the dog give the signal to his trainer, Soldado Fernandes. It is certain however, that the dog signalled next to apartments 5J, 5H, and 4G. He showed great interest in sniffing these doors and the immediate areas. Next to door 5H there were two bags of rubbish and the odour may have distracted the dog. Outside 4G was a tray of plates, cutlery and cloth napkins that had apparently been used. This apartment is where the parents of the missing child were staying (at the time). Concerning apartment 5J, the same may have been conditioned by the presence of people in the interior or he could have sniffed an odour that needed to be confirmed.
    – He states that after the search inside block 5, and whilst in the exterior, the sniffer dog took the same route on 04.05.07, being the existent road of that apartment and the leisure area (pools and restaurant) and then went to the same parking area. At that point, the scent was lost. This situation may be related to the fact that the biggest concentration of odours are in that area and due to the fact that odours are better preserved near walls and away from major winds. It is certain that upon reaching the main road and turning right is where the biggest concentration of odours exist. This is where the dog lost interest. 
    – The second dog was taken through the same operation and also showed interest at the door of apartment 5J. This same dog jumped on his hind paws to the parapet of the veranda and raised his head as though in search of an odour. As related above, this interest could have been the result of various factors but it is certain that in this area the scent was intense. In the exterior, the sniffer dog immediately headed to the parking area next to block 6 and there apparently lost the scent. 

  9. Hi Samantha. Yes, could be… or rentals/friends staying without any local cleaning arrangements.  However, there does not seem to be a clarification of the situation in the files.

  10. “I don’t think they were, and that is what I am thinking Owner/Occupier, which in that case, still begs the question, they were looking for a missing child.  A sniffer dog picked up a scent on the 7th May 2007 and yet they waited until the 10th May 2007 to find out it was rotting meat coming from a fridge.”
    Thing is, getting a search warrant in the absence of a tenant/owner probably takes quite some time. Which brings me back to thinking that someone local had a spare set of keys to open it for them (or the people present had just gone away for a couple of days and had come back).

  11. Other rental agencies were used for letting out apartments in the OC.

    Malinkas mother worked for Ocean Blue who cleaned out apartments in the OC,
    and one of them was an apartment in block 5 on the top floor.

    I can’t see apt. 5J on the list in vol 3, which might suggest that whoever occupied that apartment left before the 3rd.

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