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Are Maddie McCann's parents killers?

Original Source: DAILY TELEGRAPH: SAT 08 SEPTEMBER  2007
By Charles Miranda  From: The Sunday Telegraph September 08, 2007 12:00AM

FRESH forensic evidence has forced British police officers to call in Kate McCann for further questioning about the disappearance of her daughter Madeleine ... Mrs McCann is expected to be named as a suspect. Source: The Daily Telegraph

THE parents of Madeleine McCann were yesterday officially named as suspects by Portuguese police investigating the disappearance of the four-year-old British girl three months ago.

To cheers, jeers and wolf whistles from locals, Kate McCann clutched Cuddly Cat, Madeleine's favourite toy, as she left a Portuguese police station after a second marathon interview.

A short time later Gerry McCann was named as a suspect in the case.

In an extraordinary 24 hours, Portuguese authorities received DNA analysis results and offered Mrs McCann a deal - if she confessed to accidentally having killed her daughter and hiding the crime.

The 39-year-old doctor was interviewed by detectives, initially for 11 hours, before she was declared a suspect, or arguido, which can prevent her leaving the country and gives her the right to refuse to answer questions.

She was then recalled to the Policia Judiciara headquarters, at Portimao, for a further five-hour interrogation yesterday, involving 22 specific questions relating to the night Madeleine went missing from the Portuguese resort town on May 3.

Among the questions was whether she gave the youngster a sedative to put her to sleep and allow the adults to have an undisturbed dinner.

Police also suggested the toddler may have accidentally broken her neck.

The couple, police claim, then hid their daughter's body for 25 days, before using a hired Renault Scenic car to dispose of the body somewhere.

Madeleine's DNA, including blood, was allegedly found in the boot of the car, on some of Mrs McCann's clothes and in the apartment.

Police cadaver dogs also allegedly found a scent on Mrs McCann's clothes.

Police also asked the distraught mother why she washed Cuddly Cat after Madeleine disappeared, despite it being her favourite toy, with her distinctive smell.

Before asking her outright if she killed her child, detectives also questioned her on why she yelled that someone had "taken my little girl'' and instantly assumed an abduction, on the night of her disappearance.

Mrs McCann reportedly swore at police when they asked her the final question.

She was told by police to confess and that she would get little more than a year's jail, before she and her family could return to England.

Late yesterday her husband, Gerry, was also brought in for questioning for several hours, well into the night. He was offered the same deal as his wife, asked to reveal anything he knew and told that they would go easy on he and his wife.

Outside the station, Mrs McCann, 39, told family members she was amazed and horrified by the accusations levelled against her.

Until yesterday, the only formally declared suspect in the disappearance of the toddler was Briton Robert Murat; he is no longer considered relevant to the case.

"This is a set-up,'' declared Mrs McCann's mother, Susan Healy.

"I know why this is happening. If there is any evidence to implicate Kate and Gerry in any way, then it has been planted.''

Earlier, Madeleine's aunt said the move by police to cite the McCanns as somehow being involved in their daughter's disappearance was ludicrous.

"The police are trying to suggest Kate has accidentally killed Madeleine. How ludicrous is that, when one of their friends saw Madeleine being carried up the street by some unknown assailant?'' she said.

Madeleine went missing from her bed in her family's rented flat in Praia da Luz on May 3, while her parents dined with friends nearby.

Mrs McCann, an anesthetist, met Gerry while both were young doctors at Glasgow. They got together on a working trip in New Zealand.


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