PORTUGUESE police are concentrating on
what they claim is a missing half hour
in accounts of the night Madeleine
McCanns told detectives they believed
they arrived at the Tapas restaurant at
months into the investigation,
Portuguese detectives now allege they
did not turn up until almost 30 minutes
Friends' statements show there may be
differences of opinion over what time
Kate and Gerry arrived with some of the
pals stating it was just before 9pm.
want to quiz the couple again over what
they call the "missing half hour".
police source said: "We believe the
timetable of events that evening is
crucial to the inquiry. We want to know
how they could make such a mistake over
the time they arrived."
on in the investigation the McCanns said
they got to the restaurant at 8.30pm.
on arrival timings given by their dining
companions, that would mean the tragic
couple arrived first before their
police sources say statements given by
those pals show the McCanns arrived just
before 9pm—and that by then all of their
friends were already there.
statements claim that Russell O'Brien,
Jane Tanner, Matthew and Rachel Oldfield
were first to arrive at around 8.45pm.
8.55 David and Fiona Payne were said to
have turned up with Fiona's mum, Diane
statements indicate that the McCanns
turned up two or three minutes after the
these new timings are accurate police
are questioning why Gerry would go back
and check the children just 5 minutes
reported as saying he checked the
apartment and all three children were
sleeping at 9.05pm.
was confirmed when on his way back he
stopped to speak to Jeremy Wilkins,
another guest at the resort he had met
playing tennis earlier in the week.
9.10pm Jane Tanner said she crossed
Gerry's path on her way to check her own
that time she says she saw a man
carrying away a child she now believes
describes the man as aged 35,
dark-haired. wearing beige trousers and
black shoes. She said the girl, who
appeared to be sleeping, was toddler
age, bare-footed and wearing pink
pyjamas like Madeleine's.
else out that night reported seeing this
Portuguese cops have piled on the agony
for the McCanns by retracing their steps
and naming them both as official
suspects. They believe the couple may
have been involved in the disappearance
of three-year-old Madeleine. And they
think one may be covering up for the
Officers are probing a "three-hour
window of opportunity" on the theory
that during this time Madeleine was
killed in the apartment and her body
hidden somewhere nearby.
starts the last time the children were
seen alive by anyone but their parents
and ends when Kate and Gerry were seen
last time Madeleine was seen alive was
by staff at the Ocean Club creche at
McCanns were then alone with their
children for almost three hours at the
most if they did arrive at the Tapas
restaurant at 9pm.A police source said:
"The couple are being monitored to see
how they react to every new piece of
information they receive.
pressure has slowly been mounting on the
McCanns over the last month as new
information has been fed into the
inquiry." Sources say the couple have
been kept under surveillance following
the discovery by a dog of the smell of
death in their apartment on August 1.
now claim they have detected blood in a
Renault Scenic car hired by the McCanns
24 days after Maddie's disappearance.
questioning, GP Kate was asked why she
had washed Madeleine's favourite toy
"Cuddle Cat". Cops believe she has was
trying to hide forensic evidence of her
police claim the smell of a corpse was
found on Kate's T-shirt, jeans and on
says she washed the toy on August 5—four
days after police dogs picked up "the
scent of death".
insists she washed the toy simply
because it was covered in dirt and sun
Portuguese police are relying heavily on
a Cracker-style profiler who has been
studying the McCanns' behaviour. The
profiler has reportedly claimed that he
suspects that the couple, from Rothley,
Leics, could be "distracting" themselves
from the horror of what they might have
done by getting involved in the massive
have also been cast over the lack of
emotion and the controlled composure of
the couple since their daughter
profiler has told cops that this matches
that of a couple who are united and
focused in a bid to cover up a tragedy.
former Chief Inspector Albert Kirby, who
led the hunt to trap the killers of
toddler James Bulger, said: "There is
very little time for the McCanns to have
murdered their daughter and disposed of
they would have had to carry her body a
short distance away and concealed it
without anyone spotting them. The body
would have also had to remain concealed
and unfound for a long time despite the
Portuguese police must believe that one
of them managed to conceal the body in a
flat or a bush."