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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:05 pm 
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Tuesday December 25,2007

Kate and Gerry McCann will never give up hope in the search for missing Madeleine, a relative said.

Kate's aunt Janet Kennedy said their family motto of leaving no stone unturned had changed to one of never giving up hope.

She was speaking as Mr and Mrs McCann, both 39, from Rothley, Leics, endured their first Christmas without their four-year-old daughter, who went missing from the family's holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz on May 3.

Mrs Kennedy, who lives in Rothley with her husband Brian, said: "The motto has changed. Rather than not leaving any stone unturned, it is that we never, never give up hope.

"Eight months on, we have become even more determined and resolute and it (the message) becomes that we never, never give up.

"We are still very much thinking of Madeleine and a lot of people are staying the course with us. People are showing that they are right in there with the family and that is very important.

"Kate and Gerry say that every day is a difficult day and we are just the same."

Mrs Kennedy helped collect about 1,000 toys left for Madeleine at the village war memorial in the centre of Rothley in the months after she disappeared.

Around two-thirds of those toys have now been distributed by the charity Samaritan's Purse to orphanages in Belarus.

The presents, which include teddy bears and dolls, have been sent to orphans in the capital Minsk and to the town of Zhodino, 30 miles away, where 86 children aged three to seven live in cramped conditions. Many of their parents have died, become drug addicts or been sent to prison.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:05 pm 
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The hunt goes on for Madeleine McCann

Wednesday December 26,2007
By Martin Evans in Praia de Luz and Padraic Flanagan

KATE and Gerry McCann spent the saddest Christmas Day of their lives yesterday, consoled by the help of specialist grief counsellors.

They tried their hardest to hide their anguish as they took their two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie to Mass.

As they passed the heartbreaking milestone of their first Christmas without her, they vowed they would “never give up hope” in the hunt for four-year-old Madeleine.

But the two psychologists who have helped them deal with their tragic loss were nearby to help them cope with the trauma of spending the day apart from their daughter.

Kate, 39, chose to spend the Christmas holiday with her cousin Anne-Marie Wright, 43, in Skipton, North Yorks which hosts the HQ of the Centre for Crisis Psychology.

Alan Pike and Martin Alderton from the centre flew to Portugal soon after the youngster vanished from the family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3. They have played a vital behind-the-scenes role ever since, both in helping the couple deal with the aftermath of the crime and the devastation of being made official suspects.

Writing on his blog, cardiologist Gerry McCann, 39, described the “misery” of their “dreadful situation”.

But he said the family had been touched by messages of support, cards and presents from all over the world.
“Christmas will be a very quiet affair for our family without Madeleine.

He added: “Madeleine should not be spending Christmas away from her loving family.

“The person who took Madeleine has it in their power to end our suffering and will be able to appease their conscience that they have done the right thing – especially at this time of year.”

Yesterday the McCanns joined Anne-Marie Wright and her husband Michael for a Christmas Day Mass at St Stephen’s Church in Skipton.

The Wrights looked after twins Sean and Amelie while the McCanns went on an awareness-raising trip to Morocco.
Yesterday Kate and Gerry swung Sean between them as his sister skipped along beside the couple as they left church.

Wearing black trousers and a beige quilted coat, Kate – still bearing a drawn and haunted look in her eyes – did her best to make the big day as normal as possible for the twins.

A parishioner at the church on the fringe of the Yorkshire Dales said: “The twins appeared to have been given dolls for Christmas and both were clutching their toys as they headed to church.

“Kate and Gerry were doing their best to put on a united display for the youngsters, but not having Madeleine by their side must have been tearing them apart.

“The look in Kate’s eyes said it all – she was a mother who just wants to be reunited with her daughter for Christmas.
“Having Madeleine back would give the family the most fantastic New Year after all the heartache of 2007.”

No one from the trauma centre was available for comment yesterday.

But previously Alan has revealed how he’d helped the couple come to terms with their ordeal.

He said: “The aim is to help them to understand what is happening to them physically and emotionally, because it can be debilitating.

“That allows them to focus on what needs to be done.”

His boss Keith Tasker added: “We cannot fix it for them. We know that and they know that.

“There are all the ‘if onlys’ and ‘what ifs’ — what if we had done that or said that. We help them to come to terms with those thoughts.’”

In Praia da Luz, prayers were said for Madeleine at the local church where Kate and Gerry spent much of their time in the weeks following their daughter’s disappearance.

Anglican vicar Father Haynes Hubbard, who became close friends with the family, said: “Madeleine is always in our thoughts, in our hearts and in our prayers, but especially so at Christmas.

“She is not forgotten here in Praia da Luz.”

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:06 pm 
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Thursday December 27,2007
Martin Evans in Praia da Luz

A MASSIVE publicity blitz has been launched in Morocco in a desperate new attempt to find Madeleine McCann.

More than 11,000 letters and posters have been distributed in remote parts of the North African country to jog the memory of someone who may have seen the little girl.

Kate and Gerry McCann remain convinced that their daughter is alive and believe kidnappers may be hiding her in rural Morocco.

The latest publicity drive in Morocco has been organised by the “Helpingtofind Madeleine” campaign – a volunteer organisation with thousands of members across the world. The group has produced 11,500 letters and posters in French and Arabic.

They have been sent to rural towns and villages that may have been overlooked in previous publicity operations. The letters are aimed at communities which may not have widespread access to the internet and e-mail.

A spokesman said: “E-mail is great within larger towns and cities, but there are still a lot of people who do not have Madeleine’s picture or the phone contact details to report sightings or information.

“We identified more than 11,500 postal addresses to send a letter written in French and a poster written in Arabic to. The majority are pharmacies, doctors, schools, farmers, vets, churches, hotels, companies, food stores, supermarkets and restaurants.” Morocco has long provided a focus for the McCanns’ efforts to find Madeleine, who went missing almost eight months ago from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz.

Police blunders on the night she went missing meant the nearby border with Spain was not initially closed. Six days after Madeleine vanished, A Norwegian woman said she was ‘100 per cent certain’ she had seen the little girl with a man at a garage in Marrakech.

A tourist from Yorkshire said he saw a girl matching Madeleine’s description on the same day, at a hotel opposite the garage.

At the end of August, Spanish tourist Clara Torres photographed a blonde child bearing a striking resemblance to Madeleine in the Rif Mountains.

The fresh appeal began as Kate attended Mass at St Stephen’s church in Skipton, North Yorkshire, yesterday. Close to her heart, Kate wore a badge featuring Madeleine’s face with her distinctive iris and the message: “Look into my eyes – help find Madeleine.”

Kate and a friend attended the midday service in the town where the McCanns are staying with cousin Anne Marie Wright, 43.

Father Peter Dawber said: “Parishioners’ hearts go out to the McCanns especially at this time of year. There was a prayer for Madeleine.”

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:06 pm 
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Saturday December 29,2007
By Martin Evans in Praia da Luz

TWO fresh witnesses have told police investigating Madeleine McCann’s disappearance they saw suspect Robert Murat in Praia da Luz on the night she vanished.

The sisters say Murat was outside the Ocean Club complex half an hour after the girl was reported missing from her family’s holiday flat there on the night of May 3.

They bring to eight the total number of witnesses to contradict Murat’s claim that he had spent all that evening at home with his mother.

Annie Wiltshire, 58, and Jayne Jensen, 54, both from Kent, reported their suspicions to Leicestershire police in May.

They had gone to the Portuguese resort on April 21 for a two-week holiday in the Ocean Club complex.

On the afternoon of May 3 they noticed two men acting suspiciously on the balcony of an apparently empty apartment overlooking the complex’s swimming pool. At around 10.30 that night they noticed a man standing and smoking a cigarette in the reception area.

The following day, when they went to local police to report the two suspicious-looking men, former estate agent Murat, 33, who has always denied any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance, offered his services as a translator.

They recognised him as the smoking man from the previous evening and later invited him to join them and a friend for a drink.

Mrs Jensen told police she thought Murat’s behaviour was strange, and her suspicions were further aroused when he said he needed to change his clothes because he had been wearing the same outfit all day.

This seemed odd because she had seen him wearing a different shirt and trousers just moments earlier, she said.

On their return to the UK the sisters passed on their information to Leicestershire police, but failed to hear anything back.

They decided to contact Metodo 3, the private detective agency hired by Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry, to flag up their concerns again. A source close to the investigation said: “We are extremely grateful to them for getting the information to us.

“They had made efforts to get their story into the official chain. But they felt nothing was being done.” The source said the pair, who had been in the same tennis group as Gerry McCann, were not interviewed in Portugal because they had not stayed in the same part of the complex as the McCanns.

The source added: “On May 3 in the afternoon they saw two men on a ground floor balcony.

“It was the first time they had ever seen anyone there. They thought it was strange because they had always thought the apartment was empty.”

The source added: “The next day they went and told a policeman about these men they had seen.

“An officer walked back with them to the apartment to check it. As they did so, Murat appeared and acted as an interpreter for them. He was dressed in a navy blue T-shirt and jeans, he was very sweaty, and his comment was, ‘I must go and shower and change, I’ve been in these clothes all day.’

“They felt that was strange as he had been in a striped shirt and trousers earlier.”

Murat, who has a five-year-old daughter, claims he did not become aware of Madeleine’s disappearance until the morning of May 4.

He insists he stayed in his mother’s villa, just 100 yards from the McCanns’ apartment, all night despite all the commotion going on outside.

Three of Kate and Gerry’s friends – Fiona Payne, Rachael Oldfield and Russell O’Brien – claimed to have seen him near the McCanns’ apartment while the search was under way.

Ocean Club nanny Charlotte Pennington then also said she had seen Murat hanging around near the complex’s reception shortly after Kate raised the alarm on May 3.

Two further witnesses also said they saw him that night. Murat’s lawyer Francisco Pagarette was not available for comment last night.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:06 pm 
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Monday December 31,2007
By Martin Evans in Praia da Luz

KATE and Gerry McCann want to return to Portugal in the New Year in a desperate bid to keep their daughter’s memory alive.

The couple are terrified that eight months on from Madeleine’s disappearance, locals have given up on the campaign to find her.

The McCanns remain convinced the four-year-old is still alive and believe her kidnappers may try to move her now the focus has died down.

A close friend said a return trip to the Algarve may be the only way the couple can keep the Portuguese people interested in their daughter’s plight.

After Madeleine went missing on May 3, Kate and Gerry vowed to remain in the Algarve until she was found.

But after being declared arguidos – or official suspects – in September, the couple returned home to Rothley, Leics, with their two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie. The McCanns’ legal team is now working hard to get their arguido status lifted and, if their efforts are successful, the couple are ready to return to Portugal as soon as possible.

They are expected to be interviewed by British police on behalf of the Portuguese authorities as early as next week and hope it will lead to their names being cleared.

A source close to the couple said: “It would change everything. They would be cleared in the eyes of the judicial system and, technically, in the eyes of the world.

“They would be free to speak about the case and to carry out any publicity work they needed to, to appeal for help to find Madeleine.”

Meanwhile, Kate and Gerry, both 39, are putting all their efforts into keeping the campaign alive.

Last week they broadcast a fresh television appeal asking the public for any new information there might be.

Within hours more than 350 people had contacted a hotline and several promising leads are now being investigated by private detectives hired by the couple.

They also launched a massive publicity blitz in Morocco with more than 11,000 appeal posters in Arabic and French sent to remote and rural areas.

But there remains a growing concern within the McCann camp that the Portuguese people would rather put the issue behind them in 2008.

Many Portuguese newspapers and TV channels have scaled back their coverage and in Praia da Luz locals have removed hundreds of Find Madeleine campaign posters.

Kate and Gerry are also concerned the police investigation has lost impetus because officers are convinced Madeleine died in the apartment on the night she went missing.

The couple have brought in their own team of investigators, Metodo 3, after it emerged that the Policia Judiciaria had failed to follow up scores of possible sightings. Last night the McCanns’ official spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said: “If their arguido status were lifted, we would review everything.

“We’ve said all along there are reasons why they might go back to Portugal – they have friends there, there are religious sites they would like to visit and, of course, there is the link with Madeleine and the need to keep her disappearance in people’s minds.”

Alternate version:

Monday December 31,2007

The parents of Madeleine McCann want to return to Portugal to continue the search for their missing daughter.

Kate and Gerry McCann were devastated when they were told posters featuring Madeleine were taken down from shop windows in Praia da Luz, the couple's spokesman said.

He said they were prepared to go back to Portugal for a new round of media interviews to get the search for their daughter back in the public eye.

But first they must convince Portuguese police to revoke their status as arguidos, or official suspects.

Four-year-old Madeleine has been missing since she disappeared from the family's holiday apartment at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz on May 3.

Her parents are reportedly due to be interviewed by Portuguese detectives next month. If they are cleared they may choose to return to Portugal for the first time since September 9.

Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "We've said from the outset that they would go back if it would help the investigation.

"At the moment we just want to concentrate on getting the arguido status lifted so that its no longer a distraction to anyone in the search to find Madeleine.

"If the arguido status were lifted we would review everything and we've said all along that there are reasons why they might go back to Portugal."

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:07 pm 
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Tuesday January 1,2008
Martin Evans in Praia da Luz

KATE McCann has admitted being suspicious of Robert Murat after yet another witness claims to have seen him on the night Madeleine went missing.

She told friends she felt Murat may not have told the truth about his movements on the fateful night and was concerned about the number of people contradicting his version of events.

The latest person to cast doubt on Murat’s alibi is an unnamed British barrister who claims he saw the expat hanging around near the Ocean Club half an hour after Madeleine was reported missing.

It takes to eight the number of people who contradict his story that he never left his villa on the night of May 3.

Murat, who has a five-year-old daughter, has always vehemently denied any involvement in the disappearance of Madeleine.

But after he was declared an official suspect in May an increasing number of people have come forward claiming he was hanging around near the McCanns’ apartment on the night of May 3. He maintains he was indoors all evening and learned of Madeleine’s disappearance the following morning – at which point he volunteered his services as a police translator.

The eight witnesses who claim they saw him on the evening of May 3 are: The McCanns’ three friends – and members of the Tapas Nine – Fiona Payne, Rachael Oldfield and Russell O’Brien; Ocean Club nanny Charlotte Pennington; holidaymaker and Ocean Club guest Jayne Jensen; the British barrister and two unnamed tourists.

Dr Payne, 34, told police she had seen Murat during the search for Madeleine in the hours after the alarm was first raised. Ms Oldfield, 36, said she saw him shortly after Kate announced that her daughter was missing. Dr O’Brien, 36, insisted he spotted Murat during the search.

Ms Pennington, 20, told police she had seen him near the McCanns’ apartment at about midnight on May 3. Ms Jensen, 54, and the British barrister both felt certain that Murat was smoking a cigarette outside the Ocean Club around 10.30pm.

The barrister has given police a witness statement but does not wish to go public.

None of those who has identified Murat, 34, knew him beforehand but his supporters point to the fact that not one of the locals who took part in the first search for Madeleine has come forward to say they saw him that night.

Murat’s mother Jenny, 71, has insisted he was at home with her all evening and has accused the McCanns’ private detectives of bribing witnesses to implicate her son.

Kate has told friends she remains suspicious about the former estate agent.

A source close to the couple said: “Kate has always felt there are questions concerning Murat that need to be answered.

“The police have never said this is definitely the man. The McCanns never treated him in their own mind as the man responsible for their daughter’s disappearance.

“But they think he has some questions to answer. They read everything, like everybody else, and think ‘that’s a bit odd’.

“But because Kate is naturally more wary than Gerry she has occasionally said ‘Perhaps he has some questions to answer.’ But Murat is not a subject of discussion all the time. They do not sit there at home fretting about him.”

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:08 pm 
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Murat to be cleared soon?
The Daily Express reports that Robert Murat could be cleared tomorrow, as the investigation reaches a crucial deadline, police files on the case are finally set to be released.

Last night Murat’s lawyer, Francisco Pagarette, claimed that detectives now believe he is innocent and are preparing to lift his arguido status tomorrow – exactly eight months after Madeleine vanished.

If they fail to clear him then, under Portuguese law, they must charge him or reveal what evidence they have against the 34-year-old father of one. Murat, who was declared an official suspect on May 14, is desperate to have the cloud of suspicion hanging over him removed, claiming his life has been destroyed by false allegations.

Mr Pagarette said: "After eight months that is the end of the inquiry, so a suspect must be accused or advised of the suspicions against them. The public prosecutor either accuses him or they don’t. And that is what I am hoping will happen."

He added: "We have not had any communication from the police since August. Obviously they have already cleared Robert, it is just a question of the deadline." Theoretically, Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry, the only other arguidos, should also be charged, released or told what evidence exists against them tomorrow.

But it is believed the prosecutor has already granted an extension allowing a further period of secrecy for the investigation because of the "special complexity" of the case. Detectives are also due to re-interview Kate and Gerry in Britain and do not wish to make any decision about their status until that process is complete.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:08 pm 
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Saturday January 5,2008
By Anna Pukas

Those who are close to her wonder how much longer she can go on. They have watched her shrink to the point where one friend described her as a “living skeleton”. Her emotional equilibrium – ironically, something for which she was both praised and disparaged – is now all but shot to pieces.

As a close friend puts it: “She is up and down like a yo-yo. One moment she is upbeat and strong and is so focused on finding her daughter that she sees and almost feels Madeleine. Then there’ll be times when she gets some bad press in Portugal and instead of focusing on the search all her efforts are spent trying to defend herself.”

If so, then these are very dark days indeed for Kate McCann – lowest point yet. her to plunge to and she is possibly about

According to leaked Portuguese documents, Kate and Gerry McCann are now considered the prime suspects in the disappearance of their four-year-old daughter Madeleine.

A report by detectives which was handed to a judge two days ago concludes that the McCanns must have killed their daughter accidentally and then disposed of the body.
Gerry McCann is 'rebuilding an exterior life'

So this is where they are after eight months probing and digging by the Portuguese police and theorising and speculation by just about everyone else: no nearer to getting Madeleine back and finding themselves accused, in effect, of her manslaughter.

How does a mother cope with such unrelenting pressure? Someone recently said that Kate McCann has been physically transformed by grief and that her back, shoulders, hands and mouth are now “reshaped into the angular manifestation of a silent scream”. A florid description but no exaggeration. Always a slender woman, Kate is now emaciated, her clothes flapping around fleshless arms and thighs.

Kate and Gerry McCann, both 39, left Portugal last September because they wanted to bring some normality back to the lives of their twins, Sean and Amelie.

But since coming home to the Leicestershire village of Rothley, things have not worked out that way. For Kate especially, leaving Portugal was painful because it felt like leaving Madeleine again.

Since their return, Kate’s life – like her physique – has diminished. She used to be a part-time GP, working two days a week at Latham House Medical Practice in Melton Mowbray. But unlike Gerry she has shown no inclination to return to work.

“For the time being she just wants to stay at home with the twins and look after them,” says Kate’s mother Susan Healey. “The need to care for the twins has helped her get through each painful day.”

According to Gerry’s sister, Tricia Cameron, Kate has been contacted by a children’s charity to do some work for them. The approach came after Kate attended a lunch for the organisation Missing Children International while still in Portugal.

“She hasn’t made up her mind yet,” Tricia added. It appears to be understood within the family that whatever she decides, it is highly unlikely that Kate will return to her old job.

She used to be a keen runner and she kept up her jogging in Portugal as it relieved the stress. For a brief while after they came home to Rothley, Kate and Gerry would drive to a local beauty spot and go for a long run together. But it didn’t last and Kate has not been seen out running for almost three months.

She used to go to Dawn Newcombe’s hair salon in Rothley to have her hair cut and highlighted. Now she can’t face it. “She finds it really difficult and doesn’t want to be the focus of everyone’s attention,” says one of the stylists.

“She did bring the twins in before Christmas to have their hair trimmed but it was very hard for her. She was almost in tears as she watched them and my heart went out to her. In the past, Madeleine would have been running around or the twins would have been running about while she had her hair cut. The constant strain on poor Kate is unbearable.”

She used to enjoy taking Madeleine to Templars coffee shop for hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and cream. She has not set foot in the place since returning to Rothley. These days when she leaves the house it’s invariably for one of just two reasons: to take the twins to nursery on Wednesdays and Thursdays in neighbouring Queniborough – where the McCanns lived until 2006 and where they still have many friends – or to attend mass.

Both devout Catholics, the McCanns attend a Sunday morning service at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, a short walk from their £500,000 detached house. Kate usually takes the twins to mass on Tuesday mornings, too.

The rest of the time she is at home, tucked away in a cul-de-sac with other similar, new-build “executive” homes.

There she looks after Sean and Amelie, preparing their meals, reading to them or watching TV or their favourite DVDs together; the twins, who will be three on February 1, are especially fond of Wallace And Gromit and Postman Pat.

If they are busy playing outside in the garden, or making dens in their bedroom, Kate might pick up a book or a women’s magazine; she rarely reads newspapers these days, preferring to be kept abreast of developments by the family’s spokesman, ex-BBC reporter Clarence Mitchell, who drives up for the day from his home in Bath about twice a week.

At 6.30pm, Kate runs a bath for Sean and Amelie and they all sing together. It is both a loving, bonding ritual and a bitter reminder of the missing component: Madeleine.

“It is heart-breaking,” says Gerry’s mother Eileen. “The three children were bathed together every night and always had lots of fun. The twins ask for Madeleine and Kate reminds them that she’s still missing. Then they get back to splashing each other and they forget about Madeleine.”

But Madeleine remains very much a part of her family. There are photographs of her all over the house and the twins refer to her often. Before Christmas, which the McCanns spent with Kate’s cousin in Skipton in the Yorkshire Dales, they would ask if Santa was bringing Madeleine home. Kate’s mother Susan recalls a recent visit to a farm. “The twins said: ‘Mummy’s going, Daddy’s going, Sean and Amelie going but Madeleine not going, Madeleine looking’. It’s heartbreaking but it shows they are aware everyone is still looking for Madeleine and that, wherever she is, she can look at them, too.”

Meanwhile, little Amelie has abandoned her own Snuggles cat toy and taken to carrying around Cuddle Cat, her sister’s favourite soft toy.

After their bath the twins have “quiet time”, when they’re allowed to watch a favourite film before choosing a story book as they are put to bed at 7.30pm. Then, once they are asleep, Kate has her own quiet time when she goes into Madeleine’s bedroom, which has been left untouched. There, sitting among the toy boxes and pink furnishings (Madeleine’s favourite colour), she weeps for her missing daughter and says a prayer for her safe return.

By contrast, Gerry McCann is rebuilding an exterior life. On Monday he will resume working full-time at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, where he is a £75,000-a-year consultant cardiologist. He has been working three days a week since early November. Colleagues there hold a vigil for Madeleine in the hospital chapel every Friday and have raised thousands for the Madeleine fund, which has topped £1million.

Eileen McCann says: “Gerry feels it is the right time to focus full-time on his job. But it doesn’t mean he is giving up on his search for Madeleine. Kate supports his decision.”

At least once a week, usually on a Monday, Gerry plays golf at Rothley Park Golf Club and then pops in for a pint at the Woodman’s Stroke pub in the village. He also takes the twins to the park. Occasionally on Sundays the whole family goes off to visit friends David and Fiona Payne eight miles away in Leicester. However, apart from their weekly walk to church, it has become very rare to see Gerry and his wife out together – not that anyone should read anything into that. Kate insists: “We are stronger than ever.”

The only disagreements are over publicity. Kate would rather keep the lowest of profiles while Gerry believes the media can help them. A family source said: “It’s the only time there’s any friction between them. Kate gets upset by what’s written and she lets it be known. She may come across as weak and weepy but she’s strong inside. Even Gerry’s mum says he’s not as strong as everyone thinks.”

The couple have always said they are ready to return to Portugal but their continuing arguido status makes this less likely. So for now – and perhaps as far into the future as she can see – the only meagre solace Kate McCann can find is to sit in Madeleine’s room and weep and pray for her lost daughter.

Additional reporting by
Tracey Kandohla

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Tuesday January 8th 2008
By Nick Fagge in Praia da Luz
Blood found in the McCanns' hire car and holiday flat DID belong to missing Madeleine it was claimed yesterday.

It reflects detectives belief that she is dead and her parents Kate and Gerry disposed of her body.

New results sent to Portugal in the last few days show the blood samples could only belong to Madeleine it was claimed.

The McCanns have always insisted there were innocent explanations for the traces found behind the sofa at the Ocean Club apartment in Praia da Luz and the boot of the Renault Scenic they hired there 25 days after Madeleine vanished on May 3. They claim DNA could be linked to her siblings, two year old twins Sean and Amelie.

But the respected Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha reported yesterday: "The definitive result of the tests leaves no doubts for the Policia Judiciaria. The blood found in the McCanns' car is that of Madeleine as well as those samples detected in the flat.

Detectives in Portugal asked British scientists to carry out new tests after initial ones by the Forensic Science Service laboratory in Birmingham proved inconclusive.

they are believed to be using a new technique called low copy number analysis, which allows them to find a genetic fingerprint from a tiny sample.

The samples from the flat and the hire car were said to be damaged and of low quality, but police sources now claim the latest results are definitive.

Portuguese detectives plan to travel to Britain in the coming weeks to reinterview the McCanns and the friends they dined with at a tapas restaurant on the night Madeleine vanished, aged three.

Yesterday Dr Russell O'Brien and his partner Jane Tanner were named as the two friends reported last year to have told police they wanted to change their account of that evening.

Ms Tanner, 37, from Exeter, says she saw a mystery man carrying a child away from the flat at 9.15pm on the night Madeleine vanished.

Police were said to believe Dr O'Brien, 36, wanted to change his statement to claim he also saw the man, newspaper 24 Horas reported.

But staff at the restaurant say Ms Tanner was at the table throughout the meal and only left after Kate came running in shouting "They've taken her!" the tabloid reported.

Dr O'Brien and Ms Tanner have denied contacting police to change their stories and sources close to the McCanns support that position.

The McCanns were made formal suspects after sniffer dogs allegedly detected the "scent of death" in the flat and car, and on clothes belonging to Kate.

Further tests found microscopic blood traces in the flat and on lining in the boot of the car.

Portuguese police believe Maddeleine died in an accident and that Kate and Gerry conspired with their friends to dispose of the body.

Police sources claim the couple could be charged with manslaughter as well as hiding a body and wasting police time. Kate and Gerry McCann, both 39 and from Rothley, Leics, deny involvement in their daughter's disappearance.

They have had independent DNA tests on the car which they say reveals no trace of Madeleine.

Last night their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "These reports are very distressing for Kate and Gerry. They are depressed that again wild rumour and speculation is being presented as fact. We wish Portuguese police would just get on with their investigation, come over to England and carry out the interviews with Kate and Gerry and their friends.

All those interviews will prove yet again, that Kate and Gerry have nothing to hide.

"As for the supposed DNA testing, we cannot comment on yet more unsubstantiated rampant speculation in the Portuguese press.

It is ridiculous to suggest that Madeleine's blood was in the hire car because she was never in it. It was hired more than 20 days after she went missing, which means it was impossible for her to have ever been in it.

Kate and Gerry were in no way involved in her death. Nor were they involved in disposing of her body.

To suggest otherwise is ridiculous. This report is flying in the face of all other articles which reported that the DNA and forensic tests were inconclusive.

"If there had been anything found I would have thought there would have been more urgent activity on the behalf of the Portuguese than there has been.

We have been waiting months now for them to come to England to carry out their re-interviewing. Anything the police feel may given them cause for concern can be wholly and innocently explained.

"But until we actually see the official FSS report we have no idea what it contains, and I suggest the Portuguese press don't either.

A friend of the McCanns added: "They were in no way involved in her disappearance, reports like this just add to their anguish. We would also point out that low copy DNA is under review by police forces in this country following the outcome of the Omagh bombing trial".

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:09 pm 
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Tuesday January 8,2008

Madeleine McCann's parents have played down speculation that they may approve a movie about their daughter's disappearance.

The couple's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, confirmed that he had met a major entertainment firm that wants to make a film about their story.

But Gerry McCann said later he and his wife Kate had no plans for a movie about Madeleine.

In his latest blog entry on the official Find Madeleine website, he wrote: "We can categorically deny that we are considering a movie about Madeleine's disappearance.

"This is simply untrue. We are approached by a huge number of media outlets regarding a myriad of projects, only a tiny proportion of which we agree to.

"Each proposal is considered on whether it is likely to have a positive effect, either directly or indirectly, on the search for Madeleine.

"As stated by Clarence, there was a preliminary discussion between a production agency and a representative of Kate and I to discuss the possibility of a documentary about the issues we have faced since Madeleine was abducted.

"Clearly, Europe is a long way behind the USA in terms of its response when a child goes missing."

Mr Mitchell and another McCann representative held a meeting with the IMG agency in London last month, although the couple themselves did not attend.

Earlier Mr Mitchell had said: "The media are making money out of the situation themselves and we feel it is only fair and right that some aspect of that should come to the fund to help find Madeleine."

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