Relaymedia

Madeleine's Parents Call for Evidence of Death as 100th Day Nears

The parents of missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann have pleaded with Portuguese police to reveal evidence to them showing why they believe their daughter is dead.

The development comes as Portuguese newspapers repeated claims that detectives now believe Madeleine was killed in the McCann’s holiday flat rather than abducted – claims that the British couple reportedly found "very hurtful." The McCanns – Gerry and Kate – have consistently said they believe their daughter is still alive.

Gerry McCann's call for evidence comes as he and his family are in the midst of movinig to a new apartment in the Algarve village of Praia da Luz, where their daughter disappeared on May 3. However, this week they have been surrounded by a "huge gaggle" of Portuguese media outside their new accommodation, a family spokesman said.

This has forced the couple to stop their daily routine of taking their two-year-old twins – Sean and Amelie – to the creche at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz.

Under Portuguese law, police are not allowed to speak publicly about the details of an investigation. But in recent days, several newspapers have printed articles in which unnamed police sources have suggested Madeleine might have died in the family's holiday flat on the night she disappeared.

In a BBC interview, Gerry McCann acknowledged that there appeared to be a shift in detectives' thinking running contrary to what he and his wife had always been told.

"I had a fairly strong belief that there was a lack of evidence, certainly initially, that there was no evidence of serious harm and I do not know of any specific evidence now that alters that,” he said.

"I think, as parents, if there is evidence then we need to know about it."

Meanwhile, Francisco Pagarete, lawyer of Robert Murat, the only suspect in Madeleine's disappearance, said he thought it "strange" that parents would leave their children alone in a foreign country.

Madeleine was abducted when the McCanns left their three children asleep in their apartment while they ate with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant.

On Friday the McCanns will help to unveil a new section of the website YouTube for footage of missing children.

The “Don't You Forget About Me” channel will be managed by the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington, D.C.

There are already more than 200 videos related to the Madeleine campaign on the YouTube site.

On Saturday, the McCanns will mark the 100th day since Madeleine disappeared.