Joseph Moura with the Early Show's Hannah Storm


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'McCanns not killers ..child was abducted'
Daily Mirror - 19/11/2007

Madeleine McCann's parents are innocent victims of their child's disappearance, a US TV investigation has concluded.

A two-month inquiry by CBS television's award-winning 48Hours said Kate and Gerry McCann neither murdered nor accidentally killed their daughter.

Investigator Joseph Moura concluded: "They are not killers. This child was abducted."

Cbs began by interviewing Jane Tanner, one of the so-called "Tapas Seven" holiday friends who ate with the McCanns in a local restaurant in Praia da Luz.

Jane, 38, who saw a child being carried after she left the group to check on her own child, told CBS: "I never thought in a million years that the child in pink pyjamas being carried up the road away from the apartment could have been Maddy." She added: "We've got nothing to hide."

Cbs sent Moura, a Boston-based private detective, to investigate events leading up to Madeleine's disappearance.

Portugese-born Moura remained under cover, carrying a hidden camera as he posed as a tourist in Praia da Luz. He spoke to hotel staff who, he claimed, had been reluctant to talk to the media. Moura said: "My brief was to determine whether Madeleine was abducted or whether the parents were involved."

He went on: "They said they were close enough to the unlocked apartment to see its sliding doors.

"But there's a wall between their line of sight and trees behind it. There was no possibility of seeing anyone go in and out.

"Having said that, these people had established a routine. Between 8.30pm and 12.30am every evening they would sit without the children among their seven friends.


"Media reports claimed staff had said they drank 14 bottles of wine between them on the night the child vanished. But restaurant workers I spoke with said it was more like six or seven. Here were these people, all gathered round to eat and drink. An unlocked apartment. An extremely regular routine.

"But staff only remembered one of the people at the table getting up and walking in the direction of the apartment.

"However many, 15 minutes goes by fast when you're drinking, talking and have a false sense of security built on the previous five nights when nothing happened."

A friend of the McCanns, film maker Jon Corner, said: "Those routine evenings were a predator's godsend, giving a would-be abductor the confidence to strike eventually." The CBS documentary quoted Ed Smart, whose 14 year-old daughter Elizabeth, was snatched from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Colorado, in 2002 and was found nine months later. But, while she was missing, Smart remained a suspect. He said: "Gerry McCann phoned me and said 'People think we're not telling the truth. He said that as soon as the police focused on Maddy's DNA allegedly being found in the family's car hired after she disappeared, the search for their girl came to a close. I told him to remain strong - nothing else matters than finding a lost loved one."

Tv investigator Moura concluded: "That is where it remains.

"All the evidence I received says the McCanns were acting normally that night. They had that false sense of security, they drank wine with their friends. I'm just not buying anything else.

"Anything the police may have said about the DNA is inconclusive. Whatever you can say about the McCanns as parents, as human beings, they are not killers.

"This child was abducted by someone in the perfect situation. Doors unlocked, an established routine."

Scenes from a video diary of Gerry McCann, shot by film maker Mr Corner, will be shown on BBC's Panorama tonight. Gerry says he believes a child snatcher hid outside their flat before grabbing Maddy from her bed. He adds: "I have no doubt Madeleine was targeted. That makes us sick to the core - to think someone was watching us and our daughter.

"I've absolutely no doubt they've watched me go in, come back out and then they've thought 'That's the window of opportunity to get back in and get back out'


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