Testimony from John Elliot Hill 20 June 2007
Place: Praia da Luz – Lagos :
Officer responsible: Carlos Dordonnat – Inspector
Name: JOHN ELLIOT HILL
– Profession: Manager
– Place of Work: Ocean Club – Praia da Luz – Lagos
– As the deponent does not speak Portuguese, he will helped by the interpreter Sra. Lidia N. Employee of the PJ.
With regard to the facts of the investigation. Statements show that he knew of these facts by means of a phone call from Lindsay, head of the child care service, who told him about a female child staying at the resort who had disappeared. This phone call was made to the deponent’s mobile phone at about 22.28 on 03-05-2007. About 5 minutes later the deponent presented himself at the resort, because Lindsay had told him that she had initiated the procedure for missing children used by the company and the child had not been found. Upon arriving at the scene he saw about 100 people, employees, guests and residents searching the grounds, the beach and adjoining areas calling out the child’s name.
Initially the deponent thought that the child had got lost or disorientated, but as the searches did not produce any results he became increasingly worried.
The deponent went to the main reception to see if the authorities had been alerted, and fifteen minutes later went to the apartment being used by the McCanns, where he saw that both members of the couple were in a panic and were shouting that the child had been taken. The deponent thinks that the GNR arrived at the scene at about 22.45, however in a conversation several weeks later, he heard someone say, he doesn’t remember whom, that they had arrived at about 23.30, but as he was so busy he declared that he had no notion of the passage of time.
– Together with Lindsay the deponent occupied himself with orienting the search operations, in the sense of trying to determine that the same area was not searched more than once, given that the search area was quite extensive.
He has been employed by the Ocean Club since March 2006 and has no knowledge of any untoward situation involving Ocean Club users or in the village itself, other than some damage and minor thefts.
– When questioned he stated that the search operations that he organised finished at about 04.30. Elements from the PJ and GNR reinforcements with sniffer dogs were still at the scene.
– He wishes to add that he does not know of any motive that could have been the cause of the Madeleine’s disappearance.
– On the night of the disappearance he always saw the McCanns together in the apartment they were occupying at the time, with the exception of an episode when Gerry went to the main 24 hour reception
– , with the purpose of speaking to a GNR officer, he is not sure at what time this occurred, but it was certainly before 24.00.
– . —
– The deponent tried to print various photos that were distributed in different sites as well as trying to support the McCanns, although they did not need so much support after about seven weeks the deponent remembers when, in his personal opinion they were more capable in terms of mental capacity to deal with the situation.
– No more was said. Signs statement together with the interpreter.