Gerry McCann last night added his own yellow ribbon to the
thousands left in support for his missing four-year-old
In his first visit to his home in Rothley, Leicestershire, since
Madeleine went missing, he looked pleased and emotional
as he viewed the sea of ribbons, flowers, teddy bears
and toys left at the village's war memorial.
Chris Allen, who runs a florist shop in the nearby town of Syston,
where Kate McCann is a regular customer, said: "Gerry
said that he was really, really moved with everything
that was happening here and the support that he was
Mr McCann returned to the UK to deal with "personal matters" and
meet lawyers and organisers of the Find Madeleine fund.
He is expected to be back in Portugal today.
Meanwhile, the only suspect in the case has collapsed in front of
his family, a friend said last night.
It is the second time Robert Murat, 33, has fainted since he was
questioned over Madeleine's abduction from a holiday
apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3.
Tuck Price, a family friend of the Murats, said: "He collapsed
right in front of his entire family."
Mr Price said a doctor had checked Mr Murat and found no blood
pressure problems, but the incident showed the massive
strain he was under after being named as a suspect.
Mr Murat has welcomed new moves to trawl through thousands of
holiday snaps looking for known paedophiles.
British police have appealed for people to send them pictures taken
in the resort in southern Portugal in the fortnight
before Madeleine was snatched.
It is understood the photographs will be run through a facial
recognition programme and checked against a database of
images of UK paedophiles and other criminals.
The software can also find "new" suspects previously unknown to
police if the same person repeatedly appears in
Mr Murat described the move as a "great idea", according to his
friend Mr Price.
Mr Price added that the appeal for holiday photographs showed that
Portuguese police knew they had the wrong suspect.
He said: "Why else would they be doing this? If they are so
convinced about Robert why would they still be
It is understood Portuguese police have already been going through
photographs taken by the McCanns and their friends
before Madeleine was kidnapped.
It also emerged yesterday that Mr Murat, who strenuously denies any
involvement in the four-year-old's disappearance,
believes DNA tests could prove his innocence as early as
Portuguese police have indicated he remains their strongest line of
inquiry but have refused to confirm reports in local
newspapers that forensic tests at Mr Murat's villa are
Mr Murat has also asked British PR guru Max Clifford to represent
him in his campaign to clear his name.
Mr Murat wants to speak out to defend himself, but could face jail
under Portugal's strict "secrecy of justice" laws if he
Mr Clifford said he spoke to Mr Murat and his mother Jenny, and
offered them free advice about handling the media.
He said he had "a tremendous amount of sympathy" for Mr Murat but
would not formally represent him until he is cleared.
"When I spoke to Robert, he was in tears and very emotional about
the fact that I took the call from his aunt and spoke to
them," he added. "He said 'I am innocent and I will
prove I am innocent', and thanked me for listening to
Meanwhile, Madeleine's mother Kate maintained a vigil in Praia da
Luz where holidaymakers and locals joined a minute's
silence to show their solidarity with the McCanns
following an appeal in an anonymous email circulated
throughout Portugal at the weekend.
Michael Wright, from Skipton, the husband of Mrs McCann's cousin,
is in Portugal to lend support. The Portugese resort's
owner has also paid for two counsellors from the Centre
for Crisis Psychology in Skipton to fly out.
If you would like to display the official Find Madeleine poster,
you can download it here.