MADDIE HOPES DASHED AGAIN
ABOVE: Another blow for Gerry and Kate McCann
19th January 2008
By Jerry Lawton
Your Shout ( 1 )
Police are to rule out any link between the Madeleine McCann case and the abduction of a five-year-old Spanish girl.
The move will bring fresh heartache for Gerry and Kate McCann.Portuguese detectives do not believe the missing Brit was snatched from her family’s holiday apartment.They are convinced the four-year-old died accidentally and her parents disposed of her body. But police in Spain do think little Mari Luz was abducted on a 200-yard walk home in Huelva last Sunday. Yesterday Mari’s distraught mum Irene, 30, thanked Madeleine’s mother Kate for an e-mailed message of support and urged her: “Don’t give up – your daughter will be found.’’Reports in Spain said detectives were close to making a breakthrough in the case and have not found any evidence of a link to Madeleine’s disappearance.A source close to the McCann inquiry in Portugal said: “The police have kept a watching brief on the Mari Luz case because there was a chance that her abductor might have brought her to Portugal. “But detectives do not seriously think the two cases are linked. Their colleagues in Spain appear to be making considerable progress in that investigation.“Police here will not formally rule out the possibility Madeleine was abducted – but they don’t think it happened.’’Madeleine vanished from her family’s holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, two days before her fourth birthday.Police have accused her parents Kate and Gerry, both 39, of launching a worldwide campaign to find their daughter in a bid to dodge a manslaughter charge.The investigation source said at least one Portuguese detective would shortly be flying to Britain to sit in on fresh questioning of the friends with whom the McCanns were dining that night.The interviews will be conducted by British officers. Then detectives will consider bringing criminal charges, the source claimed. “There is a feeling among the judiciary in Portugal that the best place to sort all this out is a courtroom,’’ he added.