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Toxic sedatives 'found in Maddie's fluids'

Original Source: NINE MSN: 14 SEPTEMBER 2007
Friday Sep 14 10:00 AEST
By ninemsn staff

A French newspaper has made sensational claims that toxic levels of sedatives were detected in "bodily fluid" from missing British toddler Madeleine McCann.

The France Soir article, picked up by UK newspaper The Daily Mail, claimed a police report on how the four-year-old died was already with Portuguese prosecutors.

The report is said to contain the analysis of the bodily fluids found in the McCann's hire car that "proves that the little girl had ingested medicines, without doubt sleeping pills, in large quantities".

British experts immediately expressed doubts about the explosive claims, saying the evidence was only a partial match to Madeleine's DNA and not strong enough to determine the presence of drugs.

But a source at the French newspaper told the Mail "We are not simply repeating rumours carried in other papers".

"This is not a theory, but a fact contained in hard evidence in the hands of the Portuguese authorities.

"It's all very well putting theories and opinions forward, but in the end this case will be decided on evidence.

"As journalists, we have been trying to establish what evidence is available."

The report supports theories already published in the Portuguese press that Kate McCann was involved in her daughter's death and her husband Gerry helped dispose of the body.

The Mail said an independent forensic science organisation confirmed it would be possible to test decomposing bodily fluids for a presence of drugs, but it would be hard to determine the amount.

"These samples are likely to be far from ideal," Alan Baker from forensic consultants Bericon said. "If it is just a smear or dried deposit, you could detect the drug but not how much."

Meanwhile back in England, the McCanns were visited by their local child protection team to prove they were fit to care for their two youngest children.

A spokesperson for the McCann's said the meeting "was absolutely fine". "It was very much Gerry and Kate's instigation that they meet with social services so early on after returning to Leicestershire."


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