LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – The case of abducted three-year-old Madel…

LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – The case of abducted three-year-old Madeleine McCann developed further yesterday as blood samples from the Portuguese apartment where she was staying while on holiday with her family will reach a British laboratory tomorrow for analysis.

The samples, which are understood to have been found in the apartment by a team of sniffer dogs operated by police from Leicestershire, will be examined by scientists from the Forensic Science Service (FSS), based in Birmingham, the Guardian understands.

The first task for scientists will be to try to get a DNA sample from the blood, reported to have been found on a wall of the villa in Praia de la Luz where the McCann family was staying.

If the scientists are successful, the profile will be checked against the DNA of the missing four-year-old and against the national DNA database, set up by the FSS.

Police from Leicestershire, where the McCann family live, are leading the UK contingent of officers in Portugal helping detectives. Among the team is a detective sergeant from the Metropolitan police who speaks Portuguese and is working as a translator. Also on the team is a British-based profiler who is helping to build a picture of the suspected abductor.

Leicestershire police refused to comment yesterday on whether it was their officers who discovered the blood smears. But reports from Portugal suggested officers from the Leicestershire force used specialised equipment and their own sniffer dogs to re-examine the two-bedroom apartment on the Mark Warner holiday complex.

Blood was reportedly found on a wall in the bedroom where Madeleine had been sleeping with her younger brother and sister on May 3, the night she disappeared. A source was quoted as saying that one of the dogs stopped at the spot and barked to indicate it had found something.

Reports in the Portuguese press today suggested police had suspected for some months that Madeleine died in the apartment on May 3. The Diario de Noticias (DN) quoted a source close to the inquiry as saying that police had completely discounted kidnap as a result.

The source said detectives from Britain and Portugal had been closely monitoring the movements of the parents, Gerry and Kate, since Madeleine’s disappearance.

Police sources told DN that they were concentrating “on the family circle and their friends”, some of whom had been under surveillance in the UK.

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