I traced Maddie DNA to the sea

I traced Maddie DNA to the sea
'The Locator' gives fresh hope to the McCanns
7 October 2007
News of the World
Lucy Panton

RENOWNED international manhunt expert, dubbed The Locator, sensationally revealed he has uncovered a telltale DNA trail left by snatched toddler Maddie McCann.

In a shock new twist, ex-cop Danie Krugel tracked a "forensic route" he believed her kidnapper took from her family's Portuguese holiday apartment through alleyways, roads and paths down to a nearby beach.

There the trail goes cold-crucially supporting the theory that Madeleine was then taken out to sea in a boat after being abducted on May 3.

And the McCanns are convinced Krugel's evidence means four-year-old Maddie was taken ALIVE and gives them hope she can still be found.

The experienced investigator told us:

"I spent four nights in July carrying out my searches.

"I've been able to trace where Madeleine was in the resort and have drawn a map which has been given to the police.

"I can't reveal details as I don't want to alert anyone who might try to disturb the scene. But I believe I've traced where she was taken that night and now it's down to police to use their search experts to do the rest. The area to which my investigation led me is a difficult one to search."

"We tried to contact the family at the very beginning to offer our help, but unfortunately we didn't get called in until a couple of months after Madeleine went missing."


News of Krugel's findings came as the News of the World discovered that forensic tests on DNA found in the apartment and hire car are "inconclusive"-completely refuting Portuguese police claims that they incriminate to Maddie's distraught parents, still branded official suspects.

In their desperate bid to find Madeleine the McCanns called in South African Krugel after hearing of a string of remarkable successes in his homeland, where he earned his nickname The Locator.

Krugel's hi-tech methods are a closely guarded secret and he refuses to give details of his techniques.

But his method uses DNA fragments and Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite technology to find missing persons, alive and dead.

The McCanns gave him a sample of Maddie's hair found on a coat that had been left at home in Rothley, Leicestershire, to carry out his probe, with the full cooperation of the cops in Praia da Luz.

Krugel's starting point was the ground floor apartment in the Mark Warner complex where she vanished, just a short distance away from the tapas bar where Kate and Gerry were dining with seven friends.

Using his secret techniques Krugel began tracing and following a DNA trail on a 15-minute route to the sea.

Portuguese cops were then called in to examine his dossier of evidence and immediately decided to carry out searches based on the information. A source told us:

"In fact TWO searches were carried out although this has never been revealed.

"The police were worried that media in the area would see them but they managed to do it all without anyone finding out.

"They didn't find any trace of Madeleine but this did not mean Mr Krugel's information wasn't accurate. The investigations show the only option was for Madeleine to have been put on a boat and taken out to sea."

After police made inquiries around the nearby Lagos marina and other local boating communities there emerged the two theories that Madeleine's body was dumped at sea or she is still alive having been taken by boat abroad, possibly to Morocco.

Krugel's results also match a crucial eye-witness account on the evening of May 3 by Kate and Gerry's close friend Jane Tanner.

She said she saw a man carrying what appeared to be a child wrapped in a blanket close to their apartment.

In a witness statement to cops Miss Tanner said the child looked similar to Madeleine. The man has never been traced. Ironically for the McCanns, it was the work of Krugel that resulted in sniffer dogs being brought in and the couple being declared suspects.

Our source said:

"It was suggested to the Portuguese police that after they'd searched the beach they should then use the dogs from Britain. And it was the behaviour of the dogs that caused them to believe they'd found this so-called 'scent of death'.

"This in fact may not have been the case but the police became convinced Kate and Gerry were involved.

"They are ignoring all the statements to the contrary, the DNA evidence said to have been found in the hire car which can be easily explained, and also the work of Mr Krugel who has had many successes."

"The Locator" traced victims of infamous South African paedophile Gert van Rooyan in the late 1980s. Six girls, aged 11 to 13, had vanished and police were baffled.

Using hair from the missing girls he repeatedly pinpointed the same spot and when the area was excavated bone fragments of victims was found.

He also traced the body of missing five-year-old girl, Naledi Ntebele, in just 20 minutes.

The News of the World has learned Kate and Gerry could finally be cleared after new forensic tests carried out in the UK have proved "inconclusive".

DNA testing by the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham on samples of body fluids and blood have NOT provided a positive match to Madeleine.

An FSS source said that further "more complicated" tests were being carried out and denied claims they were holding back information from the Portuguese. Earlier British experts accused the Portuguese of overplaying early DNA evidence to put pressure on the McCanns.

In the days that followed it was alleged that Portuguese police had found fluids and hair from Madeleine in the hire car.

Leaked reports claimed bodily fluids and blonde hairs apparently belonging to Maddie had been found in the Renault, leading to speculation that they used the car to move her corpse weeks later.


But a source close to the forensic inquiry insisted yesterday:

"The testing carried out so far remains inconclusive. There are no complete DNA profiles that could implicate the McCanns.

"Tests are still underway and if they come to the same conclusion the case against the McCanns will collapse."

As the argument raged, investigator Krugel told us he had asked for no money or even expenses for his work on the case.
"I wanted to assist the McCanns and offered my services," he said.

"We tried to contact the family at the very beginning but unfortunately we didn't get called in until months after Madeleine went missing."

A source close to the McCanns said:

"The work of Mr Krugel should not be underestimated and gives great hope to Gerry and Kate.

"Many people have contacted the couple to try to help but while their hearts may be in the right place they just don't have the expertise to be of assistance. But Mr Krugel has a proven record of finding people and his methods are extremely credible.

"The results in Praia da Luz crucially match many other strands of the investigation which all point to Madeleine being abducted and still being alive on that night when she was taken.

"Kate and Gerry just want police to concentrate on this evidence and find Madeleine. It's so frustrating for them.

"It is important to mention Kate and Gerry used Mr Krugel with the full cooperation of Portuguese police. The fact they carried out searches as a result of his work prove his credibility with them.

"Yet sadly they seem to have decided to no longer follow this line of inquiry."

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