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Maddie McCann parents' agony

HOMEPAGE NEWS REPORTS INDEX NEWS MARCH 2008
SEARCHING PHOTOS MADELEINE PHOTOS MAPS PHOTOS
Original Source: SUN: SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2008
By ANTONELLA LAZZERI and TOM WORDEN
Published: 15 Mar 2008
 

Discovery ... diver with police at lake yesterday

Riddle ... bag of bones found in water

Search ... diving team at waters edge


MISSING Madeleine McCann's parents endured fresh torment yesterday after divers found a bag of bones in a reservoir.

The frogmen were working for a Portuguese lawyer who claims underworld contacts had told him Maddie was murdered and thrown into the massive man-made lake.

 
Gerry and Kate McCann were informed immediately by a private detective who was observing the search of the murky waters of the Barragem do Arade.

Fingers

The lawyer, Marcos Aragao Correia, said: 'We found two bags, one of which contains some small bones. We dont know if they are human bones or not at this stage.

'If they are, they look like they come from a childs fingers. They are too small for an adult.

'As soon as we made the find we handed them over to the authorities and the private detectives working for the McCanns.'

It was the second time divers working for Mr Correia have scoured the lake, which is a 20-minute drive from the resort of Praia da Luz, where Maddie disappeared last May 3 while on holiday with her family.

Later the McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said it had been confirmed to him that the bones were from an animal.

TV news in neighbouring Spain also reported the bones were not human, though it did not say where it got its information.

Mr Mitchell said: 'This search has been both distressing and distracting. It has been extremely distressing to Kate and Gerry and has detracted from their own search for their daughter. We continue to believe Madeleine is alive.'

Earlier a police expert wearing white protective gloves had examined the bones at the lakeside

Criminal lawyer Mr Correia has spent thousands of pounds on the search.

He insists he was told by criminals that Maddie, who was three when she disappeared, had been raped, murdered and dumped in a lake in the area within 48 hours of being snatched.

However Maddies parents have previously dismissed him as a self-publicist and said there is no evidence of a link to the reservoir.

Referring to Mr Correia, Mr Mitchell added: 'You have to question what this mans motives are.

'He has done nothing but try and get publicity for himself and has caused extreme distress to Madeleines parents.'

Yesterday was due to be the last day of the search by seven divers. The bones were found by John Fellows, a frogman with Lagos-based dive school Dive Time.

Divers had previously recovered several lengths of cord, some plastic tape and a single white cotton sock.

The reservoir is near the town of Silves, where a lorry driver saw a woman handing a child like Maddie over to a man two days after she went missing.

Francisco Mendes, a lake day-tripper, said: 'I saw the police and went to find out what was going on.

Witnesses

Two small black plastic bags had been found and we were told one contained small bones.

Meanwhile Kate and Gerry reacted with fury yesterday to suggestions that private eyes working for them paid people to claim they had seen their daughter in Morocco.

It was alleged that one of the top private investigators employed by the Spanish-based firm Metodo 3 paid thousands in cash to witnesses to make statements saying they had spotted missing Maddie in several places in the country.

But spokesman Mr Mitchell said: These allegations are categorically untrue.

'It is utter nonsense to suggest Metodo 3 investigators paid people to lie. What on earth would be the purpose''

a.lazzeri@the-sun.co.uk

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