The internet was set ablaze on Sunday evening after a Reddit and 4Chan noticed that John Podesta and his brother Tony have a striking resemblance to police sketches from the disappearance of three-year-old girl in 2007.
— Jared Wyand ?? (@JaredWyand) November 7, 2016
On May 3, 2007, Madeleine Beth McCann of Leicester, England, disappeared from her bed while her family was on vacation in Portugal. Her parents were dining at a restaurant less than 200 feet from where she was sleeping. The case drew international attention and became one of the most high profile missing persons cases in history, receiving coverage comparable to the death of Princess Diana.
“I guess I was looking at Madeleine’s bed and I couldn’t …couldn’t make it out, and I realized that she was not actually in that bed and I thought ahh…I wonder if she has woken up and gone through to our bed…She wasn’t in our bed and that was the first time where I guess panic kicked in, her mother, Kate McCann said.
The British police believe that McCann was taken during a botched robbery, though there have been many various theories and suspects over the years — with none of the leads proving to be conclusive.
— Regressive ? Rudi (@mrnds__) November 7, 2016
Portuguese police closed the case in 2008, but reopened it in 2013 — releasing witness sketches of what was believed to be the same person from two different witnesses, but as Reddit points out, could potentially be two different people. The sketches are nearly identical to the Podestas.
Reddit, 4chan, and Twitter have been all over the photos, searching for leads and clues as to where Podesta may have been at the time of her disappearance — but so far have only determined that he may have been on a trip, according to an email released by Wikileaks. The location of his vacation has not been confirmed.
— Marqui Robbins (@MarquiRobbins) November 7, 2016
Last week, theories and screenshots began to swirl claiming that bizarrely-worded messages in the Podesta emails about food were codes for child sex trafficking. It is important to note that this is originated on anonymous message boards, and the “keywords” were not listed in any of the emails.
Soon after the McCann theory began to go viral, Twitter went down for approximately 20 minutes, fueling the conspiracy theory even harder.
— Kyle Gab – Cine (@refutal) November 7, 2016
4chan users are also claiming that Podesta appears to have wiped his emails the day of McCann’s disappearance.
— FPM (@HarshObserver1) November 7, 2016
Nearly 10 years later, McCann’s family is still searching for answers. Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, have employed private investigators to continue the search for their daughter.