- Publish Date
- Tuesday, 25 February 2020, 11:54AM
A British ex-pat living in Portugal says she has been questioned by British police over the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
Carol Hickman, 59, a bartender, says police wanted to know about her former boyfriend, demanding his phone number and Facebook account.
Hickman, who moved to Algarve in 1997, had broken up with 51-year-old German man Michael Jehle years before McCann disappeared in 2007.
But she says two plain-clothed police officers came to her house asking if she remembered the day the toddler disappeared.
Hickman, who worked at Kelly's Bar in Praia da Luz, just 450m away from where McCann went missing, says she's stunned police quizzed her about Jehle.
"They came into the bar and said 'You can thank Her Majesty for this visit'.
"That's when I knew they were from Scotland Yard. They asked if I could remember May 3, 2007.
"Of course I remember. I was in the bar and we had a call from friends saying a little girl had vanished. We went out on the search and we were out all night."
"They have no reason to suspect [Jehle] at all.
"I'm amazed I'm being asked about him. He was a friendly hippy. I just find it so strange, the whole thing."
The Mirror tracked down Jehle, who said he had no idea why police were investigating him.
"I don't know about Maddie. Police know where I live.
"I lived in Praia da Luz for many years, then I moved. I don't know why the police [are asking about Maddie].
"Everybody knows me, about three months ago people called me and said police were looking for me.
"I was with Carol in 2004. It was only for one year. She works in Kelly's Bar, she's still a good friend of mine.
"I have another girlfriend now. I have had many girlfriends."
Jehle has been in Portugal since 1995 and now lives in Monte Novo, Bensafrim, around 35km from Praia da Luz.
In 2007, another of Jehle's ex-partners had been questioned over McCann's disappearance, with authorities searching her freezer and looking around her flat.
There is nothing to suggest Jehle or his ex-partners are considered suspects, instead, police are hopeful new information could aid their investigation.
Last May, police claimed they are still trying to trace 13 persons of interest. But none have come forward.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.