Madeleine McCann police spent 4 years trying to ID man GP said was him

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A GP told police it was him carrying his daughter on the night Madeleine McCann vanished but officers still spent four years trying to identify him, his family revealed today.

Julian Totman was carrying his daughter back from a creche when he was seen by one of the so-called ‘Tapas Seven’ dining with Kate and Gerry McCann in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

But despite Mr Totman telling police about his movements detectives on the Algarve continued to hunt for the so-called ‘Tannerman’ – named after the Jane Tanner, the woman who saw him that evening. 

Key witness Miss Tanner saw a dark-haired man carrying a child wearing pink floral pyjamas about the time that the four-year-old vanished from her parents’ holiday apartment.

But it was only an hour later, when she was told that Madeleine had gone, that Miss Tanner realised it could have been the abductor. 

Julian Totman was seen by one of the so-called 'Tapas Nine' taking his two-year-old girl back to their apartment after picking her up from the resort's creche in Praia da Luz,

Julian Totman was seen by one of the so-called 'Tapas Nine' taking his two-year-old girl back to their apartment after picking her up from the resort's creche in Praia da Luz,

His family say he  was the 'Tannerman' police hunted for for four years

His family say he  was the 'Tannerman' police hunted for for four years

Julian Totman was seen by one of the so-called ‘Tapas Nine’ taking his two-year-old girl back to their apartment after picking her up from the resort’s creche in Praia da Luz, Portugal in May 2007 and his family say he  was the ‘Tannerman’ police hunted for for four years

Madeleine McCann was abducted from her parents holiday apartment in Portugal 11 years ago

Madeleine McCann was abducted from her parents holiday apartment in Portugal 11 years ago

Madeleine McCann was abducted from her parents holiday apartment in Portugal 11 years ago

Madeleine McCann was abducted from her parents holiday apartment in Portugal 11 years ago

Madeleine McCann was abducted from her parents holiday apartment in Portugal 11 years ago

In October 2007 the McCanns put out a sketch of the Tannerman but Mr Totman had already told the Guarda Nacional Republicana in May that it was probably him but they kept looking for the suspect.

It was only in 2011 after Scotland Yard took over the investigation that Det Chief Insp Andy Redwood, who led the probe from Britain, described a ‘moment of revelation’ when they became ‘almost certain this sighting [Tannerman] is not the abductor.’

After this the Met went on the hunt for the so-called ‘Smithman’ – a man seen carrying a child away from the Ocean Club resort by Irish tourist Martin Smith.

Key witness Miss Tanner saw a dark-haired man carrying a child wearing pink floral pyjamas about the time that the four-year-old vanished from her parents' holiday apartment.

Key witness Miss Tanner saw a dark-haired man carrying a child wearing pink floral pyjamas about the time that the four-year-old vanished from her parents' holiday apartment.

Key witness Miss Tanner saw a dark-haired man carrying a child wearing pink floral pyjamas about the time that the four-year-old vanished from her parents’ holiday apartment.

Julian Totman’s wife Rachel, who lives with her husband in the West Country, has revealed that police had never contacted them.

She told The Sun: ‘My husband had told the local police it could be him but we didn’t hear anything for years.

‘We always thought it was Julian who was seen by Jane Tanner. But the national police who investigated didn’t get back to us and we don’t know if our information was ever passed on.’           

In March extra cash was granted in the search for Madeleine McCann so the Metropolitan Police can continue their 11-year hunt for the missing girl.

The Home Office last night said it had allocated further funds to Operation Grange, the investigation into her disappearance from an apartment in Portugal in 2007.

‘The Government remains committed to the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann,’ a spokesman said.

‘We have briefed the Metropolitan Police Service that its application for Special Grant funding for Operation Grange will be granted.’

Detectives investigating Maddie’s disappearance applied for more cash for the search in February.

Government funding for the investigation has been agreed every six months, with £154,000 being granted from October last year until the end of this month.

In March extra cash was granted in the search for Madeleine McCann so the Metropolitan Police can continue their 11-year hunt for the Kate and Gerry McCann's missing daughter (couple pictured on May 6)

In March extra cash was granted in the search for Madeleine McCann so the Metropolitan Police can continue their 11-year hunt for the Kate and Gerry McCann's missing daughter (couple pictured on May 6)

In March extra cash was granted in the search for Madeleine McCann so the Metropolitan Police can continue their 11-year hunt for the Kate and Gerry McCann’s missing daughter (couple pictured on May 6)

More than £11million has been spent so far. The exact figure which has been allocated for the ongoing investigation is not yet known.

Madeleine, who was then aged three, vanished from an apartment in Praia da Luz in May 2007 while her parents were eating tapas with friends at a restaurant nearby. She would now be nearly 15.

Operation Grange, launched in May 2011, has been one of the longest, most high-profile and costly police investigations in history. Officers have sifted and translated 40,000 documents produced by Portuguese police who conducted the initial investigation, and by the eight teams of private detectives who have worked on the case.

Some 600 ‘persons of interest’ have been examined and alleged sightings of Madeleine – in Brazil, India, Morocco and Paraguay, on a German plane and in a New Zealand supermarket – assessed.

The quality of the Portuguese investigation of Madeleine’s disappearance was criticised by the British authorities.Scotland Yard began an investigative review into the disappearance in 2011, on the orders of the then prime minister David Cameron. Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry insist the inquiry must continue because there is ‘absolutely nothing’ to suggest she has been harmed.

Kate and Gerry McCann attend an outdoor gathering in their home village last week to pray for their daughter who vanished on holiday in Portugal on May 3, 2007

Kate and Gerry McCann attend an outdoor gathering in their home village last week to pray for their daughter who vanished on holiday in Portugal on May 3, 2007

Kate and Gerry McCann attend an outdoor gathering in their home village last week to pray for their daughter who vanished on holiday in Portugal on May 3, 2007

A computerised image of what police believe Madeline McCann will look like now is displayed at an event in her honour in Leicestershire 

A computerised image of what police believe Madeline McCann will look like now is displayed at an event in her honour in Leicestershire 

A computerised image of what police believe Madeline McCann will look like now is displayed at an event in her honour in Leicestershire 

It comes after the couple, from Rothley, Leicestershire, pledged to ‘never give up’ on Madeleine in a message to supporters at Christmas.

They wrote on the Find Madeleine Facebook page: ‘We just wanted to pass on our love and thanks to everyone who has continued to support us throughout another year.

‘Friendship, solidarity and warm wishes go a long way in giving us the strength to get through and make the very best of it.’

Mrs McCann has previously said that Christmas is always ‘tinged with pain and longing’, saying: ‘Madeleine should be here and we should be celebrating with her.’

She has also said that she would simply like to know if her daughter is alive or dead because the not knowing is the worst part.