Three cop theories

Three cop theories
9 September 2007
The News of the World
Neville Thurlbeck

Detectives are focusing on three improbable windows of opportunity for the McCanns to have disposed of Maddie's body. In all cases, she would have had to be carried away on foot as there was no hire car until May 27. Cops are working on the ludicrous theory that the body was hidden on May 3 and retrieved and moved later by car.


Dad Gerry would have had little more than 15 minutes between 9.05pm when he left the dinner table to check on his children and 9.25pm when he returned saying that all was well.

In that time he would only have been able to carry Maddie's body a few hundred yards, then seek out a suitable hiding place, conceal the body and calmly return to friends.

The corpse would have had to remain unnoticed by hordes of police, sniffer dogs and tourists for more than three weeks-just a short walk from the apartment.


Kate left the dinner table at around 10pm to check on the children. Less than five minutes later, she returned screaming, "They've taken her, they've taken her".

The five-minute gap would have allowed Kate no time at all to conceal her daughter's body. Police were suspicious that she instantly jumped to the conclusion Maddie had been snatched and hadn't simply woken and walked off looking for her parents.

Kate's explanation is simple. Maddie's favourite toy, "Cuddle Cat" was nestled in her daughter's arms when she was put to bed. At 10pm 'Cuddle Cat' was placed on a shelf at adult height and Maddie was gone.


Gerry and Kate insist that between 6pm and the time they turned up for dinner some time between 8.30pm and 9pm-they put Maddie and two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie to bed before walking 75yds to the tapas restaurant.

Detectives suspect this may have been when Maddie met her death, possibly by an accidental overdose of sedatives to help her sleep, allowing her parents to enjoy a night out. And before meeting with their friends, the couple then hid her body.

But this would mean the McCanns carrying the body through the streets.

With no car and public transport out of the question, they would have been seen by dozens of people.

Crucially, no witness has come forward, despite it being the most widely publicised missing child case in Portuguese history.

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