McCann Investigation: Images of the dogs’ inspection inside the apartment

Investigation: Images of the dogs’ inspection inside the apartment

Dogs mark trail next to the window

Animals detected cadaver odour and human blood traces in the living room, behind the sofa

by: Ana Luísa Nascimento / Eduardo Dâmaso

Martin Grime:

'What we should understand with this dog is that he only barks when he finds something, he won't bark at any other times. He won't bark at other dogs, he won't bark at strangers, he won't bark when somebody knocks on the door or anything like that. So, again, I would say that is a positive indication.'

- Talking about Eddie after he had barked loudly, indicating cadaver odour, in the area behind the sofa in the McCanns holiday apartment

'The crime scene dog has actually given me what we call a 'passive indication', where she freezes, in this spot here, which would indicate to me that there is some human blood there.'

- Talking about Keela after she had given a 'passive indication' behind the same sofa that Eddie had indicated cadaver odour.


When trainer Martin Grime approached house 5A of the Ocean Club resort, the sniffer dog that is trained to detect cadaver odour “immediately changed” and as soon as he was released, “he entered the apartment with above average interest”.

This information is included in the report by the English expert who accompanied the dogs’ inspection of the apartment where Madeleine disappeared from on the evening of May 3, 2007, images of which are published by CM. The diligence culminated in the coincidental action of the British dogs: both ‘Eddie’, that is trained to detect cadaver odour, and ‘Keela’, that is trained to find traces of human blood, marked the area behind the sofa, in the living room, next to the apartment’s side window. The videos show the dogs jumping over the sofa and immobilizing between the sofa and the wall, barking until the piece of furniture was pushed away from the wall. To the Polícia Judiciária, this fact, which is reported in one of the investigation’s intercalary reports, “doubtlessly” proves that the sofa was pushed against the wall after the little girl’s death. On the other hand, taking into account that very few indicia were collected from this piece of furniture, which was positioned on the same spot where the dogs gave their signal, the PJ admits the possibility that it was “subject to washing” in order to eliminate possible traces.

Odour in the bedroom

Another area of the apartment that the sniffer dog ‘Eddie’ focused on was the McCanns’ bedroom, in a corner next to the wardrobe. In this case, the investigation’s video shows the dog immobilizing itself inside the wardrobe. In the room where the little girl allegedly slept when she disappeared, nothing was detected, except the soft toy, which the investigators believe was placed on the bed’s end afterwards, in order to sustain the abduction theory.

In the Polícia Judiciária’s final report, the inspectors underline that the British dogs only marked the detection in locations and on objects that were related to the McCanns: apart from the apartment and its patio, the vehicle that was used by Kate and Gerry (rented 24 days after the disappearance), two pieces of clothing that belong to Kate and Maddie’s soft toy were marked.

On the contrary, in the apartments that were occupied by the couple’s friends in Praia da Luz and in all the vehicles that were used by Robert Murat, the first person who was made an arguido, nothing was detected by the dogs, as well as in the house that was occupied by the McCanns afterwards.

Strong indicia for Amaral

Gonçalo Amaral, the former coordinator of the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine, has defended that there was “sufficient indicia” to accuse the McCanns.

The inspector, who has already stated publicly that he was convinced that the process would be archived from the moment that he was removed from the investigation, believes that the parents could have been accused of concealment of a cadaver and simulating a crime. “With another Public Ministry, I admit that there could have been another decision”, he told CM when the archiving dispatch of the case was known.

Just like our newspaper reported, in prosecutor Magalhães e Menezes’ dispatch the Public Ministry itself discards the abduction theory, admits that the most likely possibility is homicide, but clears Maddie’s parents, while concluding that there was neglect from Kate and Gerry. The prosecutor argued that the McCanns had neither time nor means to conceal the body, given the fact that they had been in Portugal for only a few days. Despite this conclusion, the Public Ministry compiled a list of questions that remain unexplained, namely why the surveillance procedures were changed that night and how the twins did not wake up in the midst of the confusion.

Kate’s diary was not valued as evidence

Kate’s diary, which was considered as fundamental by the investigators because it revealed Madeleine’s mother’s profile, led the PJ to England to apprehend it but was never validated as evidence. The document, which Kate started writing following a psychiatrist’s advice, was discovered by the police in the Algarve apartment and was initially photocopied and analyzed. But it was only in April that the police was granted permission to formally apprehend the original document.

Dogs and tests render investigation expensive

The hundreds of forensic tests that were carried out in the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance cost the State thousands of euros. In the last volume of the process alone, there are five invoices that refer to DNA tests and analyzes on biological residues, all of them over twenty thousand euros. The total of expenses with forensic tests in Portugal and England is of approximately 145 thousand euros. The daily expense of the British dogs cost one thousand euros and the travel expenses cost over 2700.

Numbers from the case

443 searches were carried out by the Polícia Judiciária in the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

300 policemen from various security forces were mobilized after the disappearance of the little girl from the Ocean Club resort, in Praia da Luz.

130 elements of the Polícia Judiciária, from several directories over the country – mainly Lisbon and the Algarve – were detached for this investigation.

700 persons were heard as witnesses by the authorities during the inquiry, 112 of them being staff of the Ocean Club resort.

2000 diligences were counted by the Public Ministry during the investigation.

3 persons were made arguidos: Robert Murat, Kate McCann and Gerry McCann.


Manipulated evidence – The PJ believes that the McCanns changed the position of objects inside the apartment, manipulating the location in order to justify the abduction theory. The examples are the sofa, which was pushed against the wall, and the soft toy, which was placed on the little girl’s bed afterwards.

English under control – Kate and Gerry McCann kept the British journalists under control. In order not to be criticized, they offered photo shoots during their morning strolls in the Algarve – apparently routine but previously arranged, as revealed by Kate’s notes.

Distorted information – The PJ says that the information that was collected with the McCanns and their friends was “worked upon” in order to strengthen the abduction theory. The authorities conclude that “everyone lies” on the issue of the surveillance of the children, explaining that “fundamental” information was “distorted”.

Lack of credibility – The witness statement from Jane Tanner, who said that she saw someone crossing the street carrying a child, was not considered credible by the PJ, which doesn’t understand how the McCanns’ friend did not “act immediately” when she saw someone walking away from Maddie’s apartment.

No trace: 16 months without clues - Madeleine McCann disappeared from the Ocean Club, in the Algarve, on the evening of May 3, 2007. The little English girl was three years old and was on holidays with her parents and siblings. She was never seen again

Theories: Abduction and homicide – Abduction was the hypothesis that was pointed out after the disappearance of Maddie, and to this day it’s the theory that is defended by the parents. But the dogs’ work led the authorities to believe in homicide

Kate: Political pressures – Kate’s notes after her daughter’s disappearance reveal that the McCanns were in contact with the English prime minister, who they asked to pressure Portugal

source: Correio da Manhã, 08.09.2008, paper edition (translated version here )
Translated by astro

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