De­tec­tives ask: Where did car go?

Daily Star Sunday - - Front Page - by ANDY LEA

THE car hired by miss­ing Madeleine McCann’s par­ents was at the cen­tre of a “miss­ing miles” mys­tery last night.

As the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the cou­ple gath­ers pace, the Daily Star Sun­day can re­veal that:

● The hire car did 1,709 miles in just eight weeks – prompt­ing ques­tions about where it went.

● Por­tuguese po­lice want to seize and dis­man­tle the sil­ver Re­nault Scenic so they can search for “traces of skin” that might be­long to the tot.

● Af­ter moves by a Por­tuguese judge, there is spec­u­la­tion that Kate McCann could be fac­ing a MUR­DER charge, rather than one of man­slaugh­ter or hid­ing a body.

● Kate may face a grilling from Brit de­tec­tives this week.

● A key wit­ness got it wrong, po­lice be­lieve.

The Re­nault car was hired 25 days af­ter Mad­die van­ished and is due to go back to rental com­pany Bud­get on Thurs­day.

Fam­ily friends say it is in a “safe place” while the cou­ple de­cide whether to get their own spe­cial­ists to ex­am­ine it.


Re­spected Por­tuguese news­pa­per Cor­reio da Manha claims the car had 1,934 miles on the clock when Gerry McCann took pos­ses­sion of it on May 27; 2,388 on June 3, and 3,643 when it was last checked on July 3.

An­other pa­per has said the McCanns clocked up nearly 500 miles in the first week alone.

Po­lice want to iden­tify who drove the Re­nault while the McCanns trav­elled around the world pub­li­cis­ing their daugh­ter’s dis­ap­pear­ance.

The sec­ond au­tho­rised driver was named as Kate’s cousin Michael Wright who acted as the cou­ple’s of­fi­cial spokesman when Madeleine first dis­ap­peared.

Se­nior sources linked to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion also said po­lice had dis­cov­ered “bod­ily flu­ids” – not blood – with an 88% match to Madeleine’s ge­netic profile in the boot of the car. Kate could be grilled by Bri­tish po­lice early this week when she may be asked 40 ques­tions al­ready put to her in ear­lier in­ter­views on the Al­garve.

She is said to have de­clined to an­swer most of them first time round. Al­garve de­tec­tives are said to be con­vinced Madeleine is dead and they hope Kate can tell UK po­lice the where­abouts of the body. Por­tuguese pa­pers have also said that in­ves­ti­gat­ing judge Pe­dro Daniel Dos An­jos Frios has for­mally ad­mit­ted Kate’s diary as ev­i­dence, prompt­ing the spec­u­la­tion that she could be charged with mur­der.

Sources claim the McCanns’ friend Jane Tan­ner is also fac­ing a po­lice in­ter­ro­ga­tion.

De­tec­tives are said to think that in­for­ma­tion she gave them about see­ing a man run­ning away from the McCanns’ apart­ment with a child in a blan­ket was mis­taken.

Po­lice could also be plan­ning a re­con­struc­tion of the night Madeleine dis­ap­peared. THE owner of an in­cin­er­a­tor sit­u­ated 30 miles from the re­sort of Praia da Luz, where Madeleine went miss­ing, has been quizzed by po­lice.

Last night a po­lice cor­don marked off the in­cin­er­a­tor at the house of Dutch ex­pat Eef Hoos, sit­u­ated in the Monchique moun­tains.

Po­lice were called af­ter lo­cals com­plained about a foul burn­ing smell. Sources say af­ter iden­ti­fy­ing the smell as burn­ing an­i­mal car­casses, Hoos was then quizzed about the tot. A source close to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion said: “The owner was asked if he’d seen any­thing sus­pi­cious re­cently.

“They were ini­tially in­ves­ti­gat­ing the al­leged burn­ing of an­i­mal car­casses but he was later asked ques­tions re­gard­ing Madeleine’s dis­ap­pear­ance.

“He’s not un­der sus­pi­cion but po­lice want a closer look at the in­cin­er­a­tor.”

HIRE DRIVER: Michael Wright UN­DER FIRE: Po­lice are quizzing the owner of the villa which has an in­cin­er­a­tor, cir­cled

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