Maddie cops: We're looking for body

Maddie cops: We're looking for body
Code Madeline; Exclusive New clues on 100th day of search
Ross Hall in Praia da Luz
12 August 2007
The News of the World

Cuddle Cat was moved
'Running man' spotted
Tot alive when snatched

Police hunting for Madeleine McCann last night admitted she could be dead as the News of the World uncovered a vital new clue that proves a kidnapper WAS in her room.  A hundred days after the four-year-old's disappearance a detective leading the investigation claimed there was now an "intensity" to the possibility that she had been killed.

Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa admitted new searches using British sniffer dogs could point to Madeleine's death. But we can reveal that:

Cuddle cat-the toy Maddie's mum Kate carried yesterday to a church service on the 100-day anniversary of her daughter's disappearance-is a key clue in the hunt.

There was NO "missing hour" in which Madeleine went unchecked as she slept with her twin brother and sister while Kate and dad Gerry ate with friends at a nearby restaurant.

Maddie was NOT killed in the room-despite the presence of blood specks on the walls now being tested.


A source close to the investigation last night told us Maddie's toy cat was found HIGH UP in the bedroom-well out of reach of the youngster who went to sleep cuddling it.

Police believe the kidnapper put it there because it would have been used to help identify Madeleine when appeals to find her were launched.

Our source said:

"A lot of people have always asked how Kate was so sure so quickly Madeleine had been snatched.

"It's because when she put her down to sleep her favourite toy was tucked up with her. When Kate found Madeleine missing the next thing she noticed was Cuddle Cat had been put high up out of the way-obviously by an adult."

Unreleased evidence also proves Madeleine was checked REGULARLY during the crucial hour between 9pm and 10pm-and that she was taken in a 'kidnap window' of under 10 minutes when a "RUNNING MAN" was spotted dashing from the apartment.

Dad Gerry checked on the children at 9pm and passed pal Jane Tanner-on her way to check her own children-as he returned to the restaurant. She returned before 9.25pm after seeing a man running with a child. Ten minutes later a male pal at dinner walked up to the McCanns apartment and listened at the door. Believing the children were asleep he returned to the table. It was only 20 minutes before Kate found Maddie gone.

Our source said:

"When we're talking less than 10 minutes to grab a child, without leaving evidence, it is not just chance their parents were out. It proves whoever took her had watched the family for days."

A family friend said Jane Tanner (pictured left) was "devastated" she could have witnessed the abduction and did not stop it. It also emerged police do not think the blood found is Maddie's- because the pattern does not indicate a struggle. Our source said: "Police have concrete evidence she was alive when she was taken."

Yesterday the McCanns-whose continued presence in Portugal was criticised by some locals- were close to tears as they prayed at the anniversary service in a packed church at Praia da Luz.

Kate asked people to support their "journey of hope" for Maddie.

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