Lying in the Sun

Mirror Gallery - 2


Mirror Gallery - 2

Madeleine cops: 'She died by accident in flat'


23 Aug 2007 00:00 


Senior detectives have told prosecutors they believe Madeleine McCann was killed accidentally in her holiday flat.


The three Portuguese officers leading the investigation made the revelation at a meeting this week - and claimed to have evidence that supports their theory.


A source said: "They said they think Madeleine is dead and it happened in the flat. But they don't think she was killed on purpose. It's the first time they have said this.


"All they would say is they have evidence her death was accidental. Nobody knows what the evidence is."


The detectives - Guilhermino Encarnacao, Goncalo Amaral and Luis Neves - admitted that there are still a number of potential theories about the missing four-year-old that are being considered.


But they said they did not believe she was deliberately murdered.


The source added: "At the moment they are leaning towards it being a tragic accident."


There are also said to be simmering tensions between Portuguese and British police over the handling of the case.

The Portuguese are furious at the time it is taking to get crucial DNA results on blood found in the Praia da Luz flat from the British laboratory where they are being tested.


But British detectives pointed out the evidence was only uncovered because of a UK led review of the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance on May 3.


It is believed police are waiting for the results of the tests before they make their next move.


Despite the revelation by detectives, Gerry McCann yesterday said he believed his daughter is still alive and could be in Spain.


He told a Spanish newspaper: "There is a very real possibility that Madeleine is alive and we want the police to look for her.


"The possibility that Madeleine is alive and in Spain is real. The border between the two countries is very big. If someone had a car, it is clear they could cross into Spain. There is no border guard and no one closed the border the night Madeleine disappeared."


But he also admitted: "We've done a lot of research into missing children and we realise the percentage of minors who reappear is very small."


As we revealed yesterday, Gerry and wife Kate have put their plans to return home on hold. Police asked them not to leave in mid-September as planned in case there are developments in the investigation.


And yesterday Kate, a locum GP from Rothley, Leics, said: "We have still not decided to go home. Emotionally, it's very difficult to return without Madeleine."

20th July 2013

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