Saturday, May 3, 2008

Maddie's parents still suspects: police

Maddie's parents still suspects: police

Posted 2 hours 28 minutes ago

The parents of British girl Madeleine McCann will remain formal suspects over her disappearance, Portugal's police chief said as ceremonies are being held to mark the first anniversary since she went missing.

"The judicial police are continuing to collect and analyse all the elements of proof that may exist," police director Alipio Ribeiro told the Lusa national news agency.

"For the moment, investigators have made no decision over any charges or, on the contrary, whether to close the case," he added.

Gerry and Kate McCann were made formal suspects on September 7 last year in one of the many dramatic twists in the case since Madeleine went missing from a holiday apartment in the Portuguese holiday resort of Praia da Luz on May 3.

A British man who lives near the complex was also made an official suspect.

The McCanns have repeatedly denied any involvement in their daughter's disappearance and Mr Ribeiro said earlier this year that investigators may have been hasty in naming them as suspects. The Briton, Robert Murat, has also strongly denied involvement.

Madeleine disappeared days before her fourth birthday as her parents dined with friends in a tapas restaurant in the resort.

Despite a number of reported sightings around the world, Madeleine has never been found.

Mr Ribeiro said that if a reconstitution of the events of May 3 was necessary then it would be "important" for the parents to be present.

"It is very important that they accept to take part," he said.

The parents left Portugal shortly after they were named as suspects but Gerry McCann said in an interview with Portuguese newspaper Publico, that they were ready to return for a re-enactment.

"There is a debate over the usefulness of this re-enactment. But we are clearly interested in taking part in anything that can help find Madeleine," McCann was quoted as saying.

Holding hopes

Kate and Gerry McCann reaffirmed their belief during the interview that Madeline had been abducted and could still be found, Publico said.

The couple also complained about the lack of information from Portuguese police. Gerry McCann said it had been a "torture", the newspaper said.

Events have been held in Britain and Portugal for the anniversary as the McCann family seek to keep the hunt in the spotlight.

Gerry McCann's brother, John, who is in Praia da Luz, said the parents would probably not make a public appearance during the day.

John McCann and two other members of the family were to attend a religious service in the resort on Saturday night. "We will thank the people of Praia da Luz by attending the service," the brother said.

Local priest, Father Manuel Pacheco, said there would be a simple service which would be followed by a "gesture" of solidarity outside the church.

Church services are also to be held in Britain.

One of Britain's most senior churchmen, the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, wrote a special prayer to mark the anniversary which called on people across Britain to pray for Madeleine's safe return.

"Keep her safe and take away her fear and anxiety. May your holy angels guard and protect her," said the prayer.

In a blog on the family's website devoted to finding Madeline, Gerry McCann said "the research we have done this year has encouraged us to believe that there is a very good chance Madeleine is alive."

Appealing for people to come forward with any new information, he wrote "We have always said we will leave no stone unturned in the search for Madeleine.

"To do that we need to know what has and has not been done - unfortunately we know very little about the investigation to date. This is why we are appealing to everyone who may have come forward previously to do so again."


Latest Posts

Latest Comments