Detectives ask: Where did car go?
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