Sat, Aug 18, 2007 - Page 6 News List

Blood traces found in apartment not Madeleine's: report

AFP , LONDON

Blood samples from a holiday apartment in Portugal where four-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann disappeared in May do not belong to the missing youngster, the Times in London said on Thursday.

But the claims that the blood probably came instead from a white man "from the northeast European sub-group" were immediately rejected by the British laboratory testing the samples.

"This is an ongoing investigation and we can't make any comment. However, we are surprised at the Times piece," said a spokeswoman for the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham, west central England.

A spokesman for the Portuguese police said they had not received any results from scientists and would not say when they were expected.

AFP understands from a source close to the investigation that tests are not finished on a wide range of swabs and other samples, including blood, and that no firm conclusions have been made.

The newspaper, which said its report was based on four pages of technical results, said the blood tests would give fresh hope to Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, that their daughter was still alive.

The Portuguese police spokesman also denied reports in a number of British newspapers on Thursday that investigators were convinced Madeleine died on the night she was last seen.

Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa said last Saturday that they have not ruled out that Madeleine may be dead, but all lines of inquiry were open.

Madeleine vanished from a holiday flat in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3.

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