FORENSIC tests show Madeleine McCann died of an overdose of sleeping
pills, media reports said today.
Body fluids found in the boot of a car hired by the parents of the missing
four-year-old British girl 25 days after she went missing in Portugal showed
she had been sedated, according to a French newspaper which said it had seen
France Soir said DNA results of the fluids showed Maddie had swallowed enough
sleeping pills to cause an overdose.
Guilhem Buttut, an investigative reporter for the newspaper, said he had seen
"hard evidence" about Madeleine's death in a report now in the hands
of Portuguese prosecutors, the metro.co.uk news website reported.
Buttut said toxicological tests on the liquids "proved the little girl had
ingested medicines, without doubt sleeping pills, in quantities large enough to
cause an overdose".
Sources close to the investigation said earlier this week that police
discovered an 88 per cent DNA match to Madeleine in the boot of the McCanns'
rented Renault Scenic.
It was also reported that hair was found in the boot, allegedly showing that
her body had been in it.
The McCanns are reportedly planning their own independent forensic tests on the
A family friend said the car was being kept in a "safe place",
believed to be a pound at Faro airport in Portugal, The Independent newspaper
The latest revelations come as Portuguese media reported that police wanted to
question Madeleine's mother Kate yet again.
Sources close to the McCanns said they were not aware of plans for a second
Police may also quiz her about her diary, which police are seeking, along with
her husband Gerry's laptop computer.
There are suggestions the diary has already been seen by detectives who took
photocopies but police want to examine it in more detail.
Overnight, a warrant was passed from Portuguese authorities to British police
to go to the McCanns' home in Rothley, Leicestershire, as early as today.
Portuguese newspapers said yesterday that they had seen the photocopies of
Correio da Manha said Mrs McCann wrote in the diary that her children were
"hysterical" and exhausted her.
It also said her husband gave her little help with family chores.
"She complains frequently that her children are 'hysterical' and speaks of
Madeleine as a child whose excess activity exhausts her," the paper said.
The daily Publico said Mrs McCann's worries about her children's behaviour and
her difficulties disciplining them were contained in the diary.
Social workers have also visited the MCanns to discuss the welfare of the
couple's two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie.
It is standard practice for a mother or father named as a suspect overseas to
have their case considered by British authorities.