British authorities announced Wednesday that the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is now focusing on a man suspected of assaulting five other British girls who were vacationing in Portugal.
Police are seeking a man whom witnesses described as tan with dark, short, and unkempt hair. He spoke English with a slow or slurred foreign accent.
The suspect is accused of breaking into 12 vacation homes in the Algarve region between 2004 and 2010. In the 2004 to 2006 time frame, he allegedly sexually assaulted five girls between the ages of seven and ten years old in their beds.
London's Metropolitan Police acknowledged that, "Whilst not identical, there are many similar aspects to each of the incidents in that in most cases there were no signs of forced entry to the property, nothing was taken, and the intruder appeared in the early hours of the morning... The suspect may have been in the villa or looking round the villa for some time before committing the offenses or being disturbed either by a parent coming in, or the child waking up. He remained calm, even when disturbed."
McCann was three years old when she disappeared in 2007 from her bed in an apartment in Praia da Luz, a resort in the Algarve region of Portugal.