The father of Madeleine McCann is today discussing plans to hire
private detectives to help in the international search for his daughter after
flying home from Portugal
Gerry McCann hopes that private detectives will find leads in the hunt after
Portuguese police admitted they could find no trace of her. They do not have
enough evidence to arrest the sole suspect.
A spokeswoman for Mr McCann and his wife, Kate, said that they were keeping an
open mind about the use of private detectives, “but have said they will use
whatever means necessary to bring back Madeleine”. Any information obtained
would be fed into the police investigation.
Mr McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, will have meetings with the organisers
of the Find Madeleine campaign and with lawyers. He returns to Portugal
It is thought that the visit could enable the couple to arrange to remain in Portugal. They
had been on a week’s holiday. Yesterday, as they attended Mass, children handed
them three sunflowers – one for each of their children.
The couple, both 38, are considering travelling in Europe
to promote the hunt. Security camera footage of passengers at Faro airport, in
is being studied by detectives. They have been told that a little girl who
appeared to have been sedated was seen there.
Inquiries remain focused on the relationship between Robert Murat, the first
suspect in the case, and Serguei Malinka, a Russian website designer who also
lives in Praia da Luz. Portuguese detectives are expected to ask their British
counterparts to search locations including Mr Murat’s former marital home in Norfolk.
Mr Murat, 33, has told police that he was at home with his mother on the night
Madeleine went missing and has strenuously denied any involvement in her
Detectives have failed to find any evidence on computers owned by Mr Malinka,
22, after he allegedly cleared their hard drive storage just hours before they
The Treasury has been looking into reducing the campaign’s tax bill after it
emerged that it was liable for VAT and would not receive gift aid. The
campaign, which is helping to cover the family’s costs, is not eligible for
On the web
— Press reports claimed 90 million people visited the findmadeleine.com website
last week; this is not true
— “Hits” refer to any file, or piece of data, requested by a site from a web
server. When you visit a website, your computer has to call up numerous files
just to display the homepage fully
— Alexa.com, which monitors internet traffic, said that 0.067% of users
worldwide visited the site Saturday; 46% were from Britain, 16% from Portugal
— It was ranked the 2,649th most visited site in Britain and the 1,779th in