This information belongs to the Ministério Público in Portimão, Portugal.
It was released to the public on 4 August 2008 in accordance with Portuguese Law


258 to 260 Witness statement of Joaquim Jose Moreira Baptista 2007.05.06


02-Processos Volume II Pages 258 to 260
Processos Volume II

Pages 258 to 260

Joaquim Jose Moreira Baptista

Occupation: Waiter

Place of Work: Tapas Bar, OC

Time/Date: 18H50 2007/05/06

Portuguese National

Comes to the process as a witness. He has worked as a waiter at the Tapas restaurant since 12th Feb 2007. His shift is from 16.00 - 24.00 except for Saturdays when he works from 11.30 to 19.00. The clients who frequent the restaurant are mainly English tourists staying at the OC resort.

When asked he says that he clearly recalls the appearance of the girl's parents, he does not know their names, together with a group of English tourists who generally accompanied them, as for almost a week prior to the disappearance they would dine practically every day in the Tapas restaurant. On the occasions he saw the group dining at the restaurant he never saw the children.

When asked, he says he does not remember ever having seen Madeleine's face, which only happened when he saw her photograph after the disappearance.

When asked, he said that during dinner the men from the group would leave the table, returning to the table a few minutes later. The witness says that he does not know where they went. These absences would last for about 15 minutes. He cannot say with what regularity these absences occurred.

The witness remembers these occurrences well as would often have to take a plate of food requested by one of them back, due to the guest's absence, when he would find that the guest was not at the table when he came to serve the food.

When questioned, the witness says that he remembers on Thursday 3rd May, on the day of the disappearance, that the parents went to dine at the restaurant with the usual people. He cannot be precise, but the witness says that the group arrived between 20.00 and 21.00. He remembers there being about 9 people in total. He states that he received the food orders from the group.

Later, between 22.00 and 22.30, when the witness was in the kitchen, he was informed by a colleague that in the meantime a client had entered the restaurant shouting and that afterwards the whole English had left in a panic. The witness' colleague told him that this individual had said that a child had disappeared. A few minutes later the witness noticed great agitation, with many people everywhere searching for the child.

From information that was coming out, the witness learned that the child was a girl, the daughter of one of the English couple and that she had been in a room nearby.

When asked, the witness says that at the time he was working in the restaurant and referring to the days before the disappearance, he never noticed anything unusual. He said that he was never asked about the habits of the English group nor any questions concerning children. He says that on the day of the disappearance from the time he arrived at work, he did not notice anything unusual.

When asked, he says that at the end of the evening the area surrounding the Tapas is quiet with little circulation of people.

He has no comments as to the motive for the disappearance.

No more is said. Read, ratifies, signs.


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