WEEKS AFTER TOT KIDNAP FRIENDS TELL OF
Maddie's parents finally lose patience with cops
THE parents of snatched tot Madeleine McCann are running out of patience at the
lack of progress in finding her, friends revealed yesterday.
The private frustrations of the couple, three weeks on from four-year-old
Madeleine's disappearance, were exposed as a child protection expert slammed
the Portuguese police's handling of the case.
And while the McCanns' official spokesman stressed they were not criticising
the police directly, the slowness of the investigation is taking its toll.
A family source said: "They are getting concerned and frustrated at the
apparent slowness of the police investigation.
"They understand the reasons for that, but they are finding the
Meanwhile, child protection consultant and former detective Mark
Williams-Thomas claimed the case was still solvable, but only if the Portuguese
got their act together.
The criminal police, the PJ, have so far issued the name of only one suspect
and it is feared that forensic examinations may not throw up a shred of
evidence against estate agent Robert Murat.
British police drafted in to help are also being kept out of the loop, despite
having far greater expertise than their Portuguese counterparts.
The family's official spokesman Clarence Mitchell said last night: "Kate
and Gerry are not criticising the inquiry. They do not want to criticise the
police or upset them.
"They feel that some procedures are taking a long time. They are not being
informed fully by the PJ of developments.
"The British police have been great but they are not fully in the loop
with the Portuguese investigation. Kate and Gerry are increasingly frustrated
and are considering how to move things forward.
"They want to do positive things in the search for Madeleine."
Heart surgeon Gerry, originally from Glasgow, and his GP wife, who have stayed
in the Algarve resort of
Praia da Luz since the kidnap, were yesterday meeting British ambassador to Portugal,
They were discussing details of a planned European tour of key countries and
cities to keep Madeleine on the news agenda.
Meanwhile, Williams-Thomas claimed the crime scene was the worst-preserved he
had seen and the PJ had failed to "do the basics".
He said: "My initial observation was the crime scene was poorly preserved.
There was no one securing the patio doors, which I would refer to as the point
"Everyone talks about the back doors but having attended the scene, I
thought there was no way someone would force open shutters and climb in the
window where you could easily be noticed, when you could simply walk through
the patio door.
"The inner cordon was very close to the apartment, within 30 yards. I
would have put the inner cordon 100 yards away. It should have been at least 50
"I didn't see any house-to-house inquiries being done, which is vital.
People living nearby become the eyes and ears of police in a major
investigation and can hold a vital piece of the jigsaw.
"There was also no appeal.
"The laws in Portugal
are very different to Britain's.
However, the law doesn't prevent them from making appeals.
"They don't need to give anything back by revealing what they are doing.
It's unclear where the police are. We know they have named one suspect but it
may well be they have other leads and lines of inquiry.
"But at this stage, it will be important for them to take stock and even
ask for an external review. " Yesterday, it was revealed police in Silves,
25 miles from Praia da Luz, were due to question a woman whose child was almost
abducted on Christmas Day last year.
And the Bishop of the Algarve,
Manuel Neto Quintas, personally offered to act as an intermediary between the
police and any abductor who wished to return Madeleine to her parents.