LAWFUEL – Both British and Portugese police are drawing blanks on the Madeleine McCann disappearance, other than placing the missing girl’s parents in the clear.
Yesterday it emerged the latest British man to be investigated by police only came under suspicion because he had been on holiday at the same time as the McCanns and asked for a baby seat when he hired a car.
Police seized the hire vehicle used by litigation lawyer James Gorrod last week – three months after he was in the Algarve – and searched it.
The Daily Telegraph reported that he has been talked to by British police, who ruled him out, and his family said last night that for any suspicion to fall on them was “ridiculous”.
Gerry and Kate McCann have expressed their frustration that 103 days after Madeleine went missing, the investigation seemed to have returned to “square one”.
Writing on his blog yesterday, Mr McCann said : “Tests are outstanding and Kate and I do hope that these take us forward in finding out who took Madeleine and where she is.
“Unfortunately we have to add patience to our other characteristics.”
Help in the case from British specialists have only served to highlight flaws in the original investigation and throw up more questions than answers.
British sniffer dogs found dozens of forensic clues – including specks of blood, fibres and hairs – inside the apartment which were missed by Portuguese police.
They are being tested in a laboratory in Birmingham, but detectives admit that the time lapse in discovering them may compromise their significance.
Alípio Ribeiro, the most senior police officer in Portugal, said: “Despite the fact that new elements have appeared in the investigation we still do not know where they will lead us.”
The national director the Polícia Judiciária added that detectives were “far from throwing light on the case”.
Police have interviewed all the key witnesses – including the only formal suspect, Robert Murat – at least twice. Last week, in a review of evidence, they examined a series of cars – including those of Mr Murat.