The woman was spotted on the evening Maddie disappeared from her parents’ holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007 and recently was claimed by a criminologist to be Luisa Todorov, who worked in the resort.
But Mrs Todorov, 48, has reportedly denied being the ‘woman in purple’, saying she was questioned within days of Madeleine’s mysterious disappearance and doesn’t know anything.
The 48-year-old, who reportedly worked at the resort with husband Stefan, who has since returned to Bulgaria, told the Mirror: “I’ve no idea about any woman in purple. It wasn’t me. I spoke to the police a long time ago about the Madeleine case.
“I don’t really want to talk about it, nobody around here does, it brings back lots of bad memories. Nobody knows what happened to her. If the British police want to speak to me that’s fine, but I don’t know anything.”
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British expat Jenny Murat previously said she spotted a woman in purple staring at the McCanns’ apartment “intently” on the night Maddie disappeared.
“I saw the woman standing on the corner of the street,” she said. “She caught my eye as she was dressed in purple-plum clothes. It struck me as strange. It’s so unusual for anyone, particularly a woman, to be standing alone on the street in our resort, just watching a building.”
She reportedly told police what she had seen the next day. Some reports have said another witness also spotted a woman watching the holiday home.
According to the Mail the search for the ‘woman in purple’ line was instrumental in keeping Operation Grange – the long-running investigation in Madeleine’s disappearance – alive.
In September the investigation was given an extra £154,000 in funding by Home Office, allowing inquiries to continue until March.
It had been suggested that the search, which has cost nearly £12million, would be shelved without a fresh injection of cash.