Monday, September 10, 2007
Did Kate and Gerry McCann Learn That Parents Are Always a Suspect in Every Child Disappearance Case Now? Update: 5-26-10
Kate and Gerry McCann deny any involvement in the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine. After being named by Portuguese police as suspects in their daughters disappearance, the couple flew home from Faro in southern Portugal with their 2-year-old twins. The couple wanted "to consider the events of the last few days, which have been so deeply disturbing."
Portuguese police named the McCanns as suspects in Madeleine's May 3 disappearance, but did not confiscate their passports. Allegedly, forensic testing revealed traces of the child's blood in the McCann vehicle. The traces of blood were missed in previous testing! The McCanns returned home with the consent of the police.
"We have played no part in the disappearance of our lovely daughter Madeleine," Gerry McCann before the family left for their home. The McCanns have not been charged.
The McCanns say Madeleine vanished from a hotel room in southern Portugal while she and her siblings were sleeping. The McCanns at the time were eating at a nearby restaurant. A previous suspect was Robert Murat, a British man who lived near the hotel. Murat was never charged and insists that he was innocent.
"We thought we were in our worst nightmare but now it just keeps getting worse and worse," McCann was quoted as saying in an interview with the Sunday newspaper, The News of the World. (The McCanns are innocent!)
Update: 9-11-07 The story on DNA
Attorney-General, Pinto Monteiro, has met with Carlos Pinto de Abreu, attorney for the McCanns. New searches were to be conducted south of the Ocean Club where Madeleine disappeared. (There is an area of wasteland and a place where roadwork was being performed. The reliability of DNA evidences is directly proportionate to sample size. What is the DNA evidence that has supposedly been found by the Portuguese investigators?
Portugal newspapers have that “biological fluids” with an 80 per cent match to Madeleine’s DNA were found underneath upholstery in the McCanns’ rented Renault Scenic. Sky News claimed an even more reliable DNA sample was found in the car.
So what does the presence of Madeleine's DNA in the car mean? If it was from a hair follicle or skin cells, probably nothing since it could have stuck to the clothes or personal affects of a family member. The most important issue is the size of the sample. A substantial amount of material is less likely to be from accidental contamination.
Can a DNA sample tell if the donor was alive or dead?
A DNA profile generally does not change just because of death. If DNA has degraded, that can be consistent with death but it may also be due to exposure to the elements.
What is the significance of an 80% match?
That means only 16 of the 20 markers usually used for such analysis matched. Also, twins Sean and Amelie could share a high percentage of the same DNA characteristics. (All three children were apparently born through IVF and it is unknown whether the couple’s sperm and eggs were used.) An 80% match does not mean much in the scientific world. Stay tuned...
9-17-07 Update: Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Group, pledged $200,000 on Sunday to help the British couple attempt to clear their name. Charges have never been filed!
9-26-07 Update: Does the photo taken in Morocco show Madeleine McCann? The photo was taken in a place about 210 miles from where Madeleine was last seen.
10-8-07 Update: The McCanns have apparently hired their own DNA expert to review the DNA evidence found in the vehicle. The Government is apparently claiming a DNA match as high as 97% but it is not clear what sample size was used. An innocent hair sample might account for a 99.9% match but mean little since it could have been transported on the clothing of the defendants. In the meantime, British and Spanish reporters claim to have found the girl suspected of being Madeleine McCann. London's Evening Standard claims the girl is actually a 5-year-old from the village of Zinat in Morocco.
Update 11-8-07 Apparently beautiful, Kate McCann, 39, was named an official suspect by the Portuguse police so that they could question her according to family spokeswoman, Justine McGuinness. (She is beautiful, who would not want to question her?) Police allege that blood found in a car used by the McCann's 25 days after Madeleine was taken is grounds for their suspicion. McCann was apparently questioned for 11 hours. Gerry McCann, who, like his wife, is a doctor, was also to be questioned. Gerry McCann's sister, Philomena, told ITV news that Kate McCann has been offered a plea of two years or less in jail if she admits to accidentally poisoning the child according to ABC News . Don't look for a confession she is innocent!
Update 11-29-07 Preliminary results of U.K. DNA analysis apparently remains inconclusive. No complete DNA profiles implicate the McCanns.... Tests are still underway and if they are also inconclusive, the case against the McCanns should disappear. In related news, ex-cop Danie Krugel tracked a "forensic route" he believed her kidnapper took from the family's Portuguese apartment through alleyways, roads and paths down to a nearby beach. He used dna and G.P.S. positioning to attempt to plot the abductors route. His findings may support the theory that Madeleine was taken out to sea by boat.
Update 2-21-08: Reports of spotting Madeleine alive in France turned out to not be accurate!
Update 8-6-08: The McCanns are no longer suspects according to the Portuguese police. (They should have listened to Legal Pub along time ago!) Britain's Daily Telegraph and The Sun newspapers both reported that an email obtained by the Portuguese investigators revealed a possible connection between Madeleine's disappearance and a pedophile ring. The email was from a London-based Metropolitan Police intelligence officer to Leicestershire police and states: "intelligence suggests that a pedophile ring in Belgium made an order for a young girl three days before Madeleine McCann was taken."
Update 2-26-10: Carlos Moreira, 65, claims that on the morning of May 4, 2007, he witnessed a blond girl sitting in the back of a truck, wearing pajamas similar to what Madeleine wore. Madeleine vanished from her family's holiday suite in southern Portugal. Kate and Gerry McCann both told police they left their three children sleeping in the hotel while they dined at a nearby restaurant. They returned to find their twins, Sean and Amelie, asleep, but Madeleine, almost 4 years old was gone. Will this develop into a lead?