Processos Vol 15
Date: 2007/11/20 Time: 14H00 DIC Portimão
João Franciso Páscoa Luis Trigo Barreiras
Occupation: PJ Deputy Specialist
Place of work: Criminal Investigation Department Portimão
He is a specialist in the area of Criminology for the PJ and works in the Criminal Investigation department in Portimão.
His professional responsibilities are to carry out examinations at crime scenes, such as detecting finger prints, biological examinations as well as the identification, signalling and collection of other traces. He is also responsible for making photographic reports and sketches. On the date of the events – 3rd May 2007 he was on duty at the Portimão DIC.
At about 00.10 on the morning of the 4th, he had just finished filing a report about a fire, when he was informed that a child had disappeared in Praia da Luz.
He was brought into service together with an Inspector from the station. It was the inspector’s duty to take notes of the services as well as all the information relating to them. The inspector who accompanied him on that date, Vitor Martins, informed him that the case in question was that of the disappearance of a small girl, of British nationality, who was staying at the OC with her parents.
The immediately left for the scene and arrived about 30 – 40 minutes later, at about 00.40/00.50.
When they arrived at the scene, which they immediately identified due to the presence of GNR officers, as well as quite a lot of people who were walking around the street searching for the child, they immediately went to the apartment in question, where they found several people, including some GNR officers, as well as the head of the Lagos GNR station.
He states that the people inside the apartment and close to it, entered and left the building and circulated in the whole apartment, completely freely, in other words, without there being any restriction or care in preserving the scene. .
He said that these people were the friends of the parents of the missing girl and a lady responsible for the resort called Silvia.
He was shown the room the child had disappeared from, having noticed that people also entered and left that room without any care in the sense of preserving traces. Inside this room there were two children, babies, sleeping in two cots placed in the middle of the room.
It was requested that the babies were moved, which was done accordingly, the witness having subsequently put his gloves on to begin the on-site inspection.
At that moment one of the GNR officers told the witness that they had already searched for the girl in the wardrobes and other places in the apartment without having taken any care as to leaving their own traces or for destroying or adulterating any traces that might be of interest to the investigation.
After the arrival of the witness and his colleague Vitor Martins the scene was isolated and the inspection began, namely the collection of statements and inspection of the scene, the respective reports that were subsequently attached to the process documents.
The witness carried out finger print testing on the inside of the bedroom window, where the girl had been sleeping, leaving other examinations for the following day given that on that occasion these tests could not be carried out in the best technical conditions. For this reason, the apartments and the surrounding area were sealed off, watched over by the GNR officers who remained on site.
As far as he knows, after the first examination, other members from the finger print detection service and also officers from the LPC Crime Scene arrived at the scene.
The witness states that, at a given moment, the father of the missing girl led him to understand that he had already contacted the Sky News TV station and informed them of the situation.
As much the father as the girl’s mother looked quite worried with the situation and he can even confirm that the mother was very agitated and out of control, crying a lot and shouting in an uncontrolled manner, saying in English “They have taken her”.
He remembers that he remained on the scene until about 04.00. There were many people in the street. He does not remember having seen Robert Murat there on that occasion.
When questioned, he says that it was a fresh night with some breeze. It was not a clear night, nor was it very dark. Referring to the light conditions around the apartment, he says they were very dark, and thinks that even on a bright night there would always be little light around the apartment because of the trees and lack of street lights.
Reads, ratifies and signs.