Maddie was still alive

Maddie was still alive
Exclusive New evidence gives fresh hope to McCanns
Ross Hall in Praia Da Luz
14 October 2007
The News of the World

TODAY the News of the World reveals key new evidence that PROVES Maddie McCann was abducted ALIVE.

The latest piece of the jigsaw centres on the moment mum Kate returned to their Portuguese holiday apartment and discovered her daughter gone.

Police have been told Kate KNEW instantly little Madeleine had been snatched because the bedclothes were in exactly the same position, raised above the mattress as if they were still lying over the child.

Supporters of the McCanns are adamant this meant she must have been carefully removed from the bed while asleep and taken, rather than just getting up and wandering off, which would have ruffled the bedclothes.

Those close to Kate and Gerry-still official suspects in the 164-day mystery are convinced the revelation should clear the couple and switch the investigation back to finding their four-year-old.

A Portuguese source told us:

"People keep asking how did Kate know so quickly that Madeleine had been taken and not just walked out.

"But it's obvious. When she put Maddie to bed the child was all tucked up around the shoulders, and when Kate realised she was gone all the sheets were still neatly in place.


"A child of that age wouldn't have been able to get out of bed without moving a thing. Someone had clearly been in and carefully lifted her out. Kate realised that right away.

"This evidence must now refocus the police attention. Kate and Gerry should be released from their suspect status."

Another vital clue pointing to kidnap came two months ago when the News of the World revealed how Maddie's treasured Cuddle Cat toy had been found on a high ledge in the room, out of her reach.

Portuguese police are aware of the new evidence but continue to point the finger at Madeleine's anguished parents.

Close friends of the McCanns have always known about the clue but have been unable to make it public because of strict Portuguese privacy laws.

Alarmingly, the News of the World has also discovered that other holidaymakers and neighbours in the same Praia da Luz apartment block have never been asked for DNA samples-even though many helped with the search on the night Maddie went missing.

Pamela Fenn lives in the apartment directly above the one rented by the McCanns and came into close contact with the couple that night.

She told us: "I've not been required to give a sample or provide fingerprints."

Another apartment owner said he was surprised not to have been checked out.

"I'd have thought it was important for us to give DNA samples, so we could be ruled out if nothing else," he said.

"There were lots of us helping out that night and you'd think our DNA would be all over the place."

The McCanns have always vehemently denied all allegations and are now putting together a defence case they are convinced will clear their names.

They are hoping the appointment of Paulo Rebelo, Portugal's second most senior cop, to head up the case will help shift the focus away from them. Rebelo replaces Goncalo Amaral, sacked after he accused British police of being manipulated by the McCanns.

Pounds 1.5 m reward for Maddie's safe return: details at

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