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


785 to 788 Witness statement of Pedro Miguel Esteves Fernandes 2007.05.09


03-Processos, volume III Pages 785 to 788
Witness Statement of Pedro Miguel Esteves Fernandes
Date: 2007.05.09
Location: DIC Portimao
Occupation: GNR Officerr
Location: GNR-Ajuda

That he comes to the process as witness and states:
- That he is part of the Dog Search Team. In this capacity he serves as a scientific trainer and works with two sniffer dogs. He was asked to bring his team to the Luz zone (Lagos) related to the disappearance of the minor from the Ocean Club.
- On the 4th of May of the current year, around 22H30, he was asked to use the dogs in conjunction with a search that attempted to retrace the steps taken by the missing minor. His role was to use the dogs' skills by allowing them to sniff a towel which had supposedly been used by the minor in question.
- That after the dogs were given this scent from the towel and near apartment 5A of block 5, the first sniffer dog headed to the door of that apartment. Immediately afterward, he turned to block 5, using a circumvented route to block 5, and came to the road between this block and the leisure area of the resort (pools, restaurant, etc), and turned to the left, or around the referred to apartment and headed to the main road.
Having reached there, he crossed the road and next to a wall of block 6, crossed the road again, turned right and headed to the parking zone of the resort. More specifically, the dog went next to the light post and began smelling that location.

[alternative translation from Anne:

Having reached there, (the dog) crossed the street (Francisco Gentil Martins) and, next to the wall of block 6, once the street was crossed, turned right and headed towards the area of the contiguous car park. More specifically (the dog) went next to a lamp post, smelling the ground there.]
After searching that zone, he again crossed the road and headed toward the entrance to the pool and restaurant area, and smelled the door which was closed at that hour. He turned again to the parking zone and stopped or lost the scent at this point.
- When he effected the same operation with the second dog, in general, this dog took the same route and headed to the light post and showed interest there and ended by losing the scent at this point. It should be stated that the one difference is that this second dog did not head toward the entrance to the restaurant and pool zone.
 But he does state that the dogs followed a 'scent trail', a signal for the animal who was working. He is certain that they were not conditioned in any direction.
[alternative translation from Anne:

He (Pedro Fernandes) informs that the dogs had the "tracking lead", a sign for the dog that he's working, though no direction is imposed on him.]
- None of the dogs used in this search action, after having smelled the towel, went into block 5 but headed to the zone which gives access to the road between the apartment and the leisure area. He states it should be noted that the second dog may have been conditioned by the original path taken by the first sniffer dog as he may have smelled the first dog's path taken.
- Taking into account the aforementioned result, he states that it can be confirmed with a certain degree of certainty that the missing minor passed that location, on the day of the events or before that date. This situation can be explained by the configuration/layout of the area. That space is reduced and flanked by walls. This helps to conserve scents that may otherwise be affected by winds, etc. He would like to clarify that these sniffer dogs are more used to effecting this type of work in rural settings where there is not such a great concentration of odours.
- Yesterday (08/05/07) around 23H45, this search action was repeated but was centred on the dogs inside blocks 5 and 4 of the resort. He adds that in this type of operation, given the time that had lapsed, and with the heat that could already be felt, the results obtained may be highly relative given that the dog will confirm all the scents it comes across. It is certain the dog will react to more active scents, namely because the apartment is occupied. Also, any noise perceived by the dog in the apartment may make the dog loose interest.
- Initiating the diligence, the first sniffer dog, after having smelled the towel used in the previous operation, began searching, it being certain that next to the doors of some apartment he demonstrated major interest whilst he did not even approach others. In none of these actions did the dog give him a signal that he had caught the scent of the missing child. It is certain however, that near apartment 5J, 5H and 4G, that the dog showed major interest in smelling the doors and the immediate areas. He states that next to 5H, there were two bags of rubbish which may condition the dog. Just outside apartment 4G was a tray with plates, cutlery and cloth napkins, apparently used. It is certain that this apartment is the one where the missing child's parents were lodged (at the time). In relation to the dog's interest at doorway 5J, the same may have been conditioned by the presence of people inside the apartment.
- After completing the search in the interior of block 5, verandas and apartment access, and whilst in the exterior, the sniffer dog took the same route he had taken on 04/05/07, being the road between that apartment and the leisure area-pool sand restaurant, and headed toward the same parking area. There he lost the scent of the search. This situation may be explained by the fact that the biggest concentration of odours in that location have been preserved and protected from the winds due to the adjoining walls. When this dog got to the main road, he turned right where a large dispersion of odours existed. Here the dog lost the scent.
- The second dog was submitted to the same operation. He too showed interest in the door of apartment 5J. Here he got up on his hind paws to the parapet of the veranda and raised his head in such a way as to catch the odour. As mentioned previously, this interest may be due to various factors but it is certain that at this location the dog scented an intense odour. In the exterior, the sniffer-dog immediately took the first road, heading toward the parking area next to block 6, and there lost the scent.
- He clarifies that a search in a rural area, where a scent is much more intense is immediately noted by the sniffer dog but in an urban area, the great concentration of external odours make it possible to confuse the dog, This makes searching difficult as does the time passed between the event and the search.
- When questioned, he states that in relation to an action of this nature, it is difficult to evalauate precisely the work of the dogs, even though he is well aware what these dogs are capable of. The conditions that surrounded this search made the degree of uncertainty that much greater. The dogs may have signified or confirmed intense odours in that zone, however, they may have also merely have given a confirmation of a scent. They did not demonstrate that they had detected the odour in question.
- And nothing more was said, finds it in conformity, ratifies and signs.


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