Who Is Sergey Malinka? New Details About The Man Associated With Robert Murat In Madeleine McCann's Disappearance

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Who Is Sergey Malinka? New Details About The Man Associated With Robert Murat In Madeleine McCann's Disappearance

The series Out of Sight has tackled the infamous disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann from a hotel room in Portugal in 2007. The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann takes a look at the investigation that left police scrambling to find the little girl and the person responsible for her disappearance. There were several leads, including one to Robert Murat and his associate Sergey Malinka. Now, 12 years later, Malika is claiming that the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has ruined his life. Who is Sergey Malinka?

1. A recap of that night

On May 3, 2007, Kate and Gerry McCann put their three kids to bed and went to eat dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant. They were planning to check on the kids every 20 minutes. At one of these check-ins midway through the meal, Kate went to check on the kids and Madeleine was missing. Later, one of the friends at dinner claimed she saw a man carrying a sleeping child walking toward the home of a local property consultant that lived near the McCann's hotel named Robert Murat. That Murat connection led investigators to Russian Sergey Malinka. 

2. What was Sergey's role in the crime?

Twelve days after Madeleine McCann disappeared, Robert Murat was officially declared a suspect. There were a number of reasons Murat was a suspect, including that he spoke both English and Portuguese fluently and had offered to be an intepreter for the British family. Police raided his home and that is when they discovered a connection to Sergey Malinka. Murat had hired Malinka to build a website for him. In the Netflix documentary, Malinka said: "I remember when I found out that Robert had been interviewed by police, I was like, 'Wow, this is the guy I'm doing a website for...' To me he was just a normal guy who lives with his mom." 

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3. What was his job?

At the time of Madeleine McCann's disappearance, Sergey Malinka was a 22-year-old who owned his own computer company. His family fled Russia during the economic downturn of the late 1980s and ended up in Praia de Luz, Portugal. Murat had hired him to build a website for his property company. At the time, Malina told a Sky News reporter: "I don't really know Murat that personally ... We have a strictly customer relationship." 

4. Was he linked to the disappearance?

Police didn't find a lot to link Malinka to Murat beyond the website at the time. However, a call made from Murat to Malinka at about the time of Madeleine's disappearance caused the investigators to wonder what was discussed. Malinka was picked up in an unmarked car. The police raided his apartment and took his computers. Malinka claimed he was agressively interrogated and that the police used intimidation to get answers out of him. Malinka was never declared a suspect as there was not enough evidence to tie him to Murat or the crime.

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5. It ruined his life

The police confiscated his computers and allegedly found pornography on it. In the docu-series, Malinka said: "There's no way I can prove — because they confiscated not just my hard drive. It was a lot of CDs from the clients. They said they found pornography there. Show me one computer in the world that doesn't have a cookie or something from a porn site. I'm not saying I did have it or I didn't have it, what I'm saying is they should have defined which computer had it and which didn't because it's just a statement there was something there." With the pornography tidbit and his tie to Murat, the tabloid began running crazy, baseless stories claiming that Sergey Malinka was a child molester involved in the Russian Mafia. There was never any evidence of either of those things. Malinka said:"It was almost impossible to live a normal life after I was interviewed by police because wherever I go, I would be looked at/ I've been called a pedophile, I've been called a sexual predator, Russian mafia, human trafficker. It was just out of order. This one missed phone call has pretty much ruined 10 years of my life. That's what actually broke me in this case. It really hurt me."

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6. The harrassment continued

A multi-millionaire named Brian Kennedy became interested in McCann case. He hired a private investigator. Kennedy and the PI began offering Malinka cash for more information in the case. Malinka declined their offer because he had no info to give them.

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7. He wanted to write a book

Malinka stayed out of the public eye until 2017 when he launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund a book about his experiences with the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The Kickstarter was cancelled in December 2017. The description of the book read: "I could never have imagined ... that something as simple as one missed phone call could have such a profound impact upon so many lives. That the price for the mistakes of others could be this high. Anyone could be in my place, but this story is about me. I am writing these words to describe what I have been through, to clear my name in the hope that my story might reach the conscience in others. I have faith that decency and understanding still exists under the layers of personal agendas and greed that has cloaked the past years."

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. She is deeply devoted to her chocolate Labrador and an avid long distance runner. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.