Kate McCann could be charged with the accidental death of her daughter,
according to a family member.
Philomena McCann told Sky News that police have suggested Kate killed Madeleine
Madeleine's aunt dismissed the allegations and insisted Kate was innocent.
She said: "I have never heard anything so utterly ludicrous in my entire
Kate has been made a formal suspect in the case, a family friend said.
Portuguese police suggested to Mrs McCann that traces of Madeleine's blood were
found in a car the family hired 25 days after the girl went missing.
She told them there was "no way" her daughter's blood could have been
found inside the vehicle, the friend said.
However, her lawyer, Carlos Pinto de Abreu, warned her she could be charged
Madeleine's father Gerry is still being treated as a witness.
The McCann family spokesperson Justine McGuiness said: "The police are
treating Kate as if she is involved in the death of her daughter.
"That suggestion hasn't been put to Gerry, so they are treating them
"It is a ridiculous suggestion."
The McCanns announced on August 31 that they would take legal action against a
Portuguese newspaper which claimed they killed Madeleine.
A large crowd whistled and shouted as Kate arrived back in Portimao for more
Mrs McCann was greeted by journalists, locals and holidaymakers, many of them
whistling and shouting at her.
One British tourist shouted: "We believe you, Kate." But there were
apparent jeers from other people in the crowd.
Madeleine's mother has been made an "arguida", a formal suspect, in
the case, according to her friend.
An arguida receives more protection under Portuguese law, including the right
to remain silent in formal interviews.
Sky News Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said: "The police are doing this
so they can ask her a list of 22 questions about the night Madeleine
"There are specific questions they need to ask and they can only do that
if she is a suspect."
The friend added: "She is shocked and surprised in several ways. First of
all that such an accusation could be made against her.
"And obviously she is concerned that such a line of investigation can
become a distraction from further attempts to find Madeleine."
Gerry McCann is due to be re-interviewed this afternoon.