turning to despair last night for the family of
Madeleine McCann as Portuguese
police admitted they could give "no firm assurance" the
three-year-old was still alive.
Anxiety was turning to
despair last night for the family of Madeleine McCann as Portuguese police
admitted they could give "no firm assurance" the three-year-old was
Five days after her
disappearance from her parents' holiday
apartment in the Algarve resort
Praia da Luz, the police announced that Interpol and Europol were now
assisting the investigation.
They had said on Saturday
that they believed she was both alive and still in Portugal.
But last night Chief
Olegario Sousa of the Central Directorate for the Fight Against Crime
equivalent of the National Crime Squad, was unable to provide that assurance.
While he insisted all
efforts were being made to recover Madeleine, when asked how confident he was
she was still alive, he said: "It is very difficult to give you an answer
because I have not facts to sustain that the child is alive or not.
"We're searching for
the child and until the moment she appears we can say nothing more because we
are not magicians.
"All the authorities
involved are doing the best efforts to recover the child."
At a chaotic press
conference in the Town of Portimao
the chief inspector said he could say little about the investigation because of
restrictions of Portuguese law.
Earlier, speaking from
the resort, Kate and Gerry McCann made an anguished plea to whoever had their
daughter not to harm her, and to set her free.
"Please do not scare
her, please let us know where to find Madeleine or put her in place of safety
and tell somebody where," he mother said. "We beg you to let
Madeleine come home."
She added: "Please
give our little girl back," repeating it in Portuguese: "Por favor,
devolva a nossa menina."