Madeleine's angry parents tell police: We want answers

Madeleine's angry parents tell police: We want answers
15 August 2007
Daily Express
David Pilditch in Praia da Luz

Kate and Gerry McCann have demanded showdown talks with detectives leading the hunt for their daughter Madeleine.

The distraught couple are angry at the lack of information about how the investigation is progressing.

Their plea comes as senior detectives follow up fresh leads uncovered during a major review of the case by British officers.

Police are said to be moving away from the theory that Madeleine was abducted from the family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3 – 104 days ago.

It has been reported that detectives now believe the foury ear-old was killed inside the flat – either by accident or murder.

Portuguese police are this week awaiting the results of DNA tests carried out in Britain on specks of blood found inside the McCanns' apartment.

The traces were discovered on a wall in Madeleine's bedroom and on curtains in her parents' room.

But the McCanns fear police will withhold the findings from them and hide behind Portugal's strict secrecy laws. Legislation prevents police discussing details about the ongoing criminal investigation.

A source close to the family said last night: "Since the discovery of the blood the attitude of the police has changed.

"As Madeleine's parents, they have a right to know if that blood is their daughter's or if it belongs to somebody else.

"They were already in an emotional turmoil. That is now being added to by the fear that information about Madeleine is being held back from them.

"They have had enough of all this speculation and rumour.

"They want to speak to detectives as soon as possible to try and establish fact from fiction.

"Like all of us they want to see the investigation moving forward and at the moment that doesn't seem to be the case." Representatives of the couple contacted police on Monday asking for a meeting with senior police officers. But they were told it would not take place until the DNA results were known.

The entire case has now been put on hold while scientists in Birmingham continue their tests.

Consultant cardiologist Gerry and his GP wife, both 39, have been assured they are not suspects but the couple are alarmed at the police's changing attitude towards them.

In his internet blog Gerry wrote yesterday: "We are still optimistic that there will be a breakthrough. In the meantime, however, little has changed for Kate and I.

"We will not give up hope until Madeleine is found and we will not stop searching for her." Kate was reduced to tears last week after the pair had separate meetings with detectives which were said to be more formal than previous briefings.

The McCanns faced fresh torment at the weekend when police stated for the first time publicly that they believed Madeleine was dead.

Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa said in a TV interview: "In the past few days there have been some developments and clues have been found that could point to the possible death of the little child.

"We are waiting for lab results of the evidence collected. All lines of inquiry are open – but these lines are a little bit more interesting." Mr McCann said of the statement: "If the current police activity does uncover new evidence that Madeleine has been seriously harmed, we should be the first to know." The McCanns are desperately clinging on to the hope that Madeleine will be returned safely.

They insist senior detectives have always told them they were searching for a "living child".

But while the family have been kept in the dark, leaks to Portuguese newspapers have fuelled a hateful smear campaign against them.

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