DNA samples that are a "100 per cent match" to Madeleine
McCann have been found in her parents' hire car and holiday
apartment, it has been claimed.
Friends who are convinced of the couple's innocence
Confusion that surrounds the fateful hours
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|The Portuguese police's theory is apparently
that Madeleine was killed by accident by one or both of her parents|
Sources close to the case said the traces - understood to be blood
- were being treated by Portuguese detectives as strong evidence
that Madeleine died in the apartment before her body was
placed in the car.
Police in the Algarve apparently now believe they have enough
evidence to charge her parents, Kate and Gerry, with
"accidentally" killing the four-year-old and hiding her
body. A file on the case will today be sent to a prosecutor who
could order the couple to return to Portugal to face charges this week.
The McCanns, who were named last week as official suspects in the
case, have claimed that they were being "framed" over
their daughter's disappearance 131 days ago.
But a source close to the Portuguese investigation said that the
prevailing mood among detectives was that: "The parents have a
lot of explaining to do."
The source claimed that two DNA samples found in the McCanns'
hire car - one apparently a full match to Madeleine and one partial
- were of a type that suggested they had come directly from her
body, rather than from clothes she had worn.
The development came as:
Social workers and police met to discuss the welfare of the
McCanns' two-year-old twins, who could be placed on an
Police in Praia da Luz were preparing to search the villa where
the McCanns had been staying until Sunday.
Kate McCann faced fresh slurs in the Portuguese media, with
claims that she was aggressive towards her children and sometimes
"out of control".
The McCanns were given police advice on how to deal with hate
mail after a backlash against them gathered pace in Britain.
The McCanns have vowed to fight to clear their names, and hired
two of the country's leading solicitors, Michael Caplan QC and
Angus McBride, to advise them.
Sources close to the investigation revealed that the DNA evidence
- analysed by the Forensic Science Service in Britain - was regarded
by Portuguese police as crucial.
A sample that was a full match to Madeleine's DNA was
allegedly found on the windowsill of the McCanns' apartment at
the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz. Although the nature of the sample
was not disclosed, previous reports claimed that blood had been
found by sniffer dogs.
One Portuguese newspaper claimed that "biological
fluids" with an 80 per cent match to Madeleine were found under
the carpet in the boot of the McCanns' hire car, which was
rented 25 days after she disappeared.
Forensic experts in the UK have pointed out that if the samples
found in the car were hair or skin they would be of little
evidential value as they could have rubbed off Madeleine's toys
But there were fresh reports claiming that both samples were
blood, and one source close to the inquiry told The Daily Telegraph
that the nature of the samples led police to believe that they had
come from Madeleine's body being placed in the car.
Video: Gerry McCann's statement at airport
Full coverage: The search for Madeleine McCann
The Portuguese police's theory is apparently that Madeleine
was killed by accident by one or both of her parents, and that her
body was hidden before being disposed of a month later using the
The McCanns have reacted with fury to the claims, accusing the
police of a "stitch-up" and pointing out that they could
not have moved a body when the eyes of the world were constantly
upon them in the weeks after Madeleine's disappearance.