The life of the British suspect in the case of
Madeleine McCann has "fallen apart", his cousin has told BBC News.
Sally Eveleigh, speaking in the
on behalf of Robert Murat, 33, said her relative vehemently denied
involvement in the four-year-old's disappearance.
Mr Murat, who had helped translate for police, was questioned for 12
hours and his mother's villa was searched.
Police have removed computer equipment from another house in Praia
da Luz and taken a Russian man for questioning.
Meanwhile, a fighting fund to cover rising search costs has been
Madeleine, from Rothley in Leicestershire, was taken from an
apartment in Praia da Luz on 3 May.
She disappeared from her bedroom as her parents ate dinner at a
nearby tapas restaurant.
Mr Murat's estranged wife Dawn said she was "assisting police in any
way she could".
Mrs Murat, of Hockering,
Norfolk, said she was going through a "very
difficult time" as a result of the focus on her husband.
"This is a very difficult time for my family," said Mrs Murat in a
statement issued via Norfolk Police.
"I am assisting the police in any way I can."
Mrs Murat said she did not want to discuss the inquiry or her
relationship with Mr Murat but she added: "I have been very
concerned about the disappearance of young Madeleine and like
everyone else sincerely hope the search for her ends with a positive
Meanwhile, Ms Eveleigh said her cousin was "devastated" and in "a
very bad state".
She was speaking on Mr Murat's behalf because, as police are
treating him as a suspect, he is not allowed to speak directly to
the media under Portuguese law.
"His whole life's fallen apart just from being over-enthusiastic
trying to help people as he always does - that's his way," she said.
"People not knowing him have misunderstood it."
Mr Murat, who previously lived in Hockering, Norfolk, has recently been living with his
mother Jenny, 71, at her villa, Casa Liliana.
After questioning Mr Murat, officers said they did not have the
evidence to formally arrest or charge anybody.
On Wednesday night, new video clips of Madeleine were broadcast
during half-time in the Uefa Cup final in
between Spanish sides Sevilla and Espanyol.
Earlier on Wednesday the fighting fund to help cover escalating
costs in the search for Madeleine was launched at the Walkers
Stadium in Leicester
by her uncle John McCann.
Speaking at the launch, Mr McCann said: "This fund will be a vehicle
to help our family get our darling, wee niece back."
It was also announced that any money raised not needed for the
search for Madeleine would be used to help find missing children in
the UK, Portugal and elsewhere.
Also at the launch, former England
and Leicester rugby union captain
Martin Johnson said Madeleine's disappearance had "touched
Details of how to donate to the fund - at banks, by post or via the
internet - can be found at www.findmadeleine.com.
And on Wednesday morning, Madeleine's aunt, Philomena McCann, of Glasgow, visited
Parliament to lobby MPs and peers for support.
She said that, in a personal meeting, Chancellor Gordon Brown had
offered support on "a practical and a personal level".