THE parents of Madeleine McCann said
yesterday they are prepared to sell everything they own to
get their daughter back.
Kate and Gerry McCann spoke out after Portuguese police
suggested that four-year-old Madeleine may have been
kidnapped for a ransom.
Senior detectives in Portugal are working on the theory that
the kidnapper may have held back on making a demand after
being panicked by the huge publicity over the case.
They believe that Madeleine may still be in the resort of
Praia da Luz where she was snatched as she slept in her
family’s holiday apartment on May 3.
The revelation came as the search for her entered its second
month. The torment proved too much for Mrs McCann, who broke
down and wept during a church service.
Who would ask for money for the girl, when her image is
running around the world?
Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa
If a ransom demand is made, Madeleine’s parents could face
paying more than £1million. A fighting fund set up to pay
for their campaign to find their daughter stands at nearly
Yesterday, Kate and Gerry said they were prepared to sell
their £600,000 luxury home in Rothley, Leics, if it would
help to find Madeleine. Gerry, 38, a consultant
cardiologist, said: “If we thought we had the money under
our control and thought it would secure her safe return we
would sell our house, we would do anything to get our
“We wouldn’t rule out that financial inducement might help
us find her, through one route or another.”
Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa of Portugal’s Policia
Judiciaria said: “Many motives have been suggested,
including kidnap for a ransom. Whoever took the child could
have had the objective of a ransom but not demanded it
because they panicked after all the attention the case has
“Who would ask for money for the girl, when her image is
running around the world? A kidnapper could have the child
well hidden, close by. After 30 days there is nothing to
state that the girl is dead.”
Portuguese police are working on the new line of inquiry
after it was revealed that forensic experts had made a
dramatic breakthrough in the case. Scientists discovered the
DNA of a stranger in the bedroom where Madeleine was
It did not belong to any of Madeleine’s family, nor the
British chief suspect, Robert Murat, 33. Portuguese police
do not have a DNA database but so far more than 200 samples
have been taken from people who were in the resort when
Madeleine was snatched.
The genetic fingerprints were swabbed at a number of places
in Praia da Luz, including the McCanns’ apartment.
Yesterday it was revealed that police took a second sample
from Murat only three days ago. Officers said the first
sample was lost, or contaminated, or not big enough to
Samples were also taken from Murat’s mother, Jennifer, 71;
Russian computer expert Sergey Malinka, 22, and Luis Antonio
– husband of Murat’s German girlfriend, Michaela Walczuch.
Malinka was on the phone to Murat on the night Madeleine was
It has been reported that the calls were discovered by
police after Murat said he had not spoken to Malinka for