17 November 2008
McCanns: Pinky Talk
McCanns search for clues in Portuguese police files.
By Tom Pedgen
Madeleine McCann's parents are scouring Portuguese police files on the case.
Kate and Gerry McCann from Rothley have taken it upon themselves to oversee the job of combing through 17 volumes of official documents, their official spokesman has revealed.
Assisted by expert investigators, they are fitting their work in alongside Mr McCann's job as a consultant cardiologist at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital and Mrs McCann's work as a full time mum.
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Gerry says they are not half way through yet. There are 17 volumes and last time I checked they were on number eight or nine. It is almost like a second career for them".
"It's a very slow, methodical process. They are going through it forensically themselves, assisted by a small team that has been formed".
"You can rest assured that there is former police experience in that team".
"They are looking for any nugget that can lead them forward".
"Anything they find that has not been done, which they feel should have been done, will be pursued".
"We expect this process to go on until Christmas".
"The minute there is something they need public support with, they will go public".
Earlier this week Mr McCann wrote on the Find Madeleine website that work was still going on, "behind the scenes".
He said,"We are not yet half way through the Portuguese but there is less information within the files than we were expecting".
"As I have stated many times someone has a key bit of information that can unlock this frustratingly difficult and painful situation".
Mr Mitchell said the Find Madeleine fighting fund stood at £800,000.
He described the state of the fund - a not for profit company set up to help find Madeleine and bring her abductors to justice- as reasonably healthy.
Mr Mitchell said: "there is more than £800,000 in the fund at the moment".
"Considering we are a year and a half on, and that the figure has been up and down it could be a lot worse".
He said calls from the public with potential leads were still coming in but not in the vast numbers that were received at the beginning of the investigation.
He said any potential lead would still be looked into.
"The phone calls come in phases, and we even get the occasional psychic tip off", Mr Mitchell said.
"Anything with credible information which can be checked - such as an address, car registration or flight number - is checked".
Mr Mitchell Said he was not prepared to talk about any reports of possible sightings at the moment for fear they would provoke copycat reports.
Source: Leicester Mercury paper edition only 17.11.08