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'Police Match Madeleine DNA To Hire Car'

Portuguese police say they have found firm DNA evidence that the body of Madeleine McCann was in the boot of the family's hire car five weeks after she went missing, sources have told Sky News.

Kate McCann leaves Portimao
Kate McCann leaves Portimao

Sky crime correspondent Martin Brunt, speaking from Portimao, said police were "adamant" they had found the most "damning" evidence yet implicating either one or both of the McCanns in their daughter's death.

The evidence came in blood samples returned from the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham.

"Police say it is the most damning evidence that has been returned by the tests," Brunt said.

"It shows, as far as they are concerned, the presence of Madeleine's body in the car five weeks after she disappeared."

He continued: "The evidence suggests very strongly that it was not that her DNA had been transferred from clothing or from a cuddly toy.

"The allegation is that the DNA shows a full match of 99%. According to police, it shows the presence of Madeleine's body in the boot of the family's hire car five weeks after she disappeared."

A policeman delivers flowers to the McCanns
A policeman delivers flowers to the McCanns

He said the sample of blood sent to the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham carried three matches of Madeleine's DNA.

Two were partial matches that came from the car and the windowsill of the family's holiday apartment.

The third was the full match from the boot of the car.

Meanwhile, papers outlining any evidence against Gerry and Kate McCann will be passed to the Public Prosecutor in Portugal, probably on Tuesday.

With the couple back in their home in Rothley, Leicestershire, the prosecutor will consider whether to lay any charges.

He will be considering the circumstances surrounding Madeleine's disappearance on May 3, Portuguese police spokesman Olegario Sousa added.

Brunt said the prosecutor had a number of options and may call for more evidence or advise on the investigation.

McCanns deny harming their child
McCanns deny harming their child

Family spokesman Brian Kennedy, who is Madeleine's great uncle, said of the family: "They are holding up extremely well."

The Portimao-based prosecutor, Jose Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses, will look at the DNA evidence as well as the statements given by the McCanns to see if there is a case against the couple.

Chief Inspector Sousa said Portuguese police decided to pass the file on to the prosecutor despite not having all the results from forensic tests being carried out in Birmingham.

The samples were taken from the McCanns' holiday apartment and hire car.

The McCanns have been told they could be called back to Portugal "at any time".

Under Portuguese law the couple could keep their arguido - suspect - status for up to eight months, although the prosecutor could decide to extend that to a year.

Portuguese detectives appear to be working on the theory that Mrs McCann killed her daughter by accident and covered up the death by claiming she was abducted.

According to reports in Portugal, police are to make new searches as part of the investigation.

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