From Times Online
March 18, 2007
Second child missing on holiday island
Thomas Catán in Madrid
Spain’s sun-kissed Canary Islands, where thousands of British holidaymakers will shortly head, have been convulsed by the disappearance of a 7-year-old boy, the second time in recent months that a child has gone missing in mysterious circumstances.
More than 2,000 volunteers combed the island of Gran Canaria this weekend amid growing public fears that a paedophile could be at work on the Spanish archipelago, which is preparing to receive hundreds of thousands of Easter sun-seekers.
Soldiers with sniffer dogs and police divers have joined the search for Yeremi Vargas, as security was tightened at local ports and airports.
More than 10,000 posters bearing the boy’s smiling face have appeared throughout the Canary Islands and thousands of residents have gathered in town squares appealing for his safe return.
From Times Online
June 1, 2007
The parents of Madeleine McCann today called on Spanish authorities to investigate the possibility that her abduction could be linked to other cases of child disappearances in their country.
Speaking in Madrid, where they spent the day trying to raise awareness of Madeleine’s case, Gerry McCann said he hoped Spanish police would become intimately involved the search for their daughter. He also pointed to the recent disappearance of a 7-year-old boy, Yeremi Vargas, the second child to have gone missing from Spain’s Canary Islands in less than a year.
“It is at least worth exploring the possibility that Madeleine’s disappearance should not be considered in isolation,” he said, “but rather putting it into the context of any other disappearances or abductions through the Iberian peninsula -- and possibly the Canary Islands as well.”
A dark shadow on sunshine island
IN MADRID Sun 8 Apr 2007
WITH a cheerful smile, pictures of Yeremi Vargas have greeted the thousands of British families enjoying the Easter break on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria.
But seven-year-old Yeremi has not been seen for four weeks, and his face now shines out of tens of thousands of "Missing" posters on display all around the popular holiday resort. His images join those of Sara Morales, a pretty teenager whose "Missing" poster went up just seven months previously after she too vanished from the island.
There’s still no sign of the missing boy, though the anguish of the family has been made worse and the police operation complicated by a hoax caller demanding money for his safe return.
A 27 year-old man from nearby Cruce de Arinaga has now been arrested and bailed for making the telephone calls. He asked for €6000 for Yeremi’s safe return, but police are convinced that he has absolutely nothing to do with the boy’s disappearance.