Welcome to YAN's Page.
I or Yan will later edit to add an overall presentation of the forensic issues in the Madeleine McCann case with links.
For now here are some articles by Yann which I have found really interesting, he will post more by himself later - Welcome Yan!!! - for now here is what the Portuguese POLICE said in a decisive report:
THE REPORT OF TAVARES DE ALMEIDA
10 September 2007
"Furthermore, a strong marking of cadaver odour was made on Kate McCann’s clothes, which may indicate that she was in touch with the cadaver. There was also a strong marking of cadaver odour in the car that was used by the McCann couple after 27 May 2007). Taking together the blood dog’s marking, and based on the forensics that are included in the process files, which indicate the presence of Madeleine McCann’s DNA in the car boot, we cannot exclude a strong hypothesis that this vehicle may have possibly been used move the cadaver, 24 days or more after Madeleine’s death.
The indication from the cadaver dog, as well as from the blood detection dog, on the key of the aforementioned vehicle, where the laboratory would confirm the existence of Dr Gerald McCann’s DNA, cannot be dismissed. This last signalling was obtained by the dogs after the key was put far away from the vehicle, in a non-visible location.
From everything that we have discovered, our files result in the following conclusions:
A. the minor Madeleine McCann died in Apartment 5A at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz, on the night of 3 May 2007
B. a simulation - a staged hoax - of an abduction took place
C. in order to render the child’s death impossible before 10.00pm, a situation of checking of the McCann couple’s children while they slept was concocted
D. Dr Gerald McCann and Dr Kate McCann are involved in the concealment of the corpse of their daughter, Madeleine McCann
E. at this moment, there seems to be no strong indications that the child’s death was other than the result of a tragic accident, yet;
F. from what has been established up to now, everything indicates that the McCann couple, in self-defence, did not want to deliver up Madeleine’s corpse immediately and voluntarily, and there is a strong possibility therefore that it was moved from the initial place where she died. This situation may raise questions concerning the circumstances in which the death of the child took place.
G. Therefore, we suggest that the case files are sent to the Republic’s Prosecutor, in the Lagos legal district, for:
1) possible new questioning of the arguidos Dr Gerald and Dr Kate McCann, and
2) an evaluation of the measure of restraint to be applied in this case.
During the house search at the McCann couple’s residence, a diary style manuscript was found, already photocopied, possibly authored by Dr Kate McCann; admitting that it may contain information that may help to reach the material truth of facts.
We therefore propose that the photocopies of the said document are presented to the illustrious judge for the purpose of its apprehension (if legal), its translation and eventual collection of information to be included in the files, as necessary for the investigation.
At this date, I submit the case files for your appreciation, for you to determine whatever you may see as convenient.
10 September 2007
Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida."
A letter was sent from Leicester Police regarding the FSS report 4th Sept.07 citing the 15/19 markers found in the hired vehicle and that the sample found in the apartment (behind sofa) contained all of the confirmed components in Madeleine’s profile. “In the sample collected in the boot area of the vehicle, 15 of the identified
DNA components coincide with the corresponding components in the DNA profile of
Madeleine McCann, this of [having] 19 components.”
“With respect to the trace evidence recovered behind the sofa all the confirmed
DNA components coincide with corresponding components in the DNA profile of
Briefly from the FSS Report – 6th September 07 ;
“ A DNA result was obtained through LCN from cellular material present in the swab (286A/2007 CRL 3A).”
This was the sample found behind the sofa which according to John Lowe contained all the corresponding components in Madeleine’s profile and also showed “very meager information indicating more than one person” contributed to the sample.
Samples collected in the metallic grey Renault Scenic vehicle, number plate 59-Da-27, on August 6th, 2007, following the second examination carried out by a British specialist dog team (Delivery note no. 286C/2007-CR/L):
A DNA result by complex LCN that appeared to be from at least three persons, was obtained from cellular material collected on the section of the baggage compartment 286C 2007 CRL10 (2) area 2. In my opinion, that result is too complex for a meaningful interpretation.
This is the sample where Mr Lowe wrote; "Let's look at the question that is being asked: 'Is there DNA from Madeleine on the swab?'
"It would be very simple to say 'yes', simply because of the number of components within the result that are also in her reference sample.
"What we need to consider, as scientists, is whether the match is genuine – because Madeleine has deposited DNA as a result of being in the car, or whether Madeleine merely appears to match the result by chance." "The expert said the components of the missing girl's DNA profile were not unique to her - in fact some were present among FSS scientists, including himself."
The Search and Rescue dogs are trained to locate a scent no matter how much it is intermingled with other odours and dependant on environmental conditions, can detect that scent when it is days old. There will always be a question as to whether or not the scent was new and could it have dispersed, however this does not answer how or why days apart the dogs followed the same scent trail, clearly whatever the scent trail was, it didn’t appear to disperse.
The odds of all the dogs following the same trail by chance are too great given the number of variants in this case (by variants I mean the number of places where Madeleine should have left a scent trail prior to her going missing). This in itself could be an indication that all the dogs picked up what looks like the ‘freshest’ trail and even located it days apart.
Report on the Sniffer Dog Search and Rescue Team
“At 00.40, given the complexity of the situation that seemed to surround the disappearance, the GNR post commander requested reinforcements from two sniffer dog teams from the Portimao territorial group to help in the searches”
“ At 01.00 after the group commander had been briefed about the situation, telephone contact was made with an official from the Queluz GNR school, with the aim of their releasing search and rescue dog teams, seeing as these are specially trained to find missing persons, which is not the case with the Portimao sniffer dogs, which are essentially patrol dogs.”
“On 4th May, after having evaluated the situation surrounding the disappearance, the Lagos Post Commander ordered searches for the child to take place and contacted officers who were at home, forming a force of nine officers who searched during the night and early morning.
At 02.00 they arrived at P da L and began searching with the Portimao sniffer dog teams, the terrain searches were extended until the morning with the dogs and officers on the scene,.. “
“At 08.00 three officers with 4 search and rescue dogs from Queluz arrived at the scene, these dogs immediately began to operate.”
“ The sniffer dog search and rescue team of the GNR was sent to Vila da Luz in the attempt of locating Madeleine McCann, aged four, of British nationality, who disappeared on the night of 3rd May, from apartment 5 A, Block 5 of the OC resort, the team was composed as follows:”
Sargeant Silva – Dog: Timmy
Officer Cortez – Dog: Sacha
Officer Sousa – Dog: Kolly/Cookie
Officer Rosa – Dog: Oscar
Officer Martins – Dog: Fusco
Officer Fernandes – Dog: Rex/ Zarus
“During the afternoon of 4th May, more searches were carried out around Vila da Luz and were extended to a radius of approximately 600 metres, including the surroundings of the EN125 in the stretch closed to P da L.
At about 23.00 the extra teams that had been requested for reinforcement arrived (Officer Rosa with Oscar and Officer Martins with Fusco, both from the search and rescue unit and Officer Fernandes with Rex and Zarus from the tracking team).
After the officers had been updated about facts relating to the disappearance, they tried to reconstruct the route the girl might have taken with the two tracker dogs. For this purpose the dogs were given a blanket to sniff, provided by the parents, which had been used by Madeleine.
Beginning to follow the track using Rex, from the door of apartment 5 A (the place where the girl had been sleeping) he would always head in the direction of Block 4, leaving block 5 the dog would turn to the left, pass by a metal access door to a path existing between the apartments blocks to the leisure area (restaurant, pool and playground). Immediately another attempt at reconstruction was made using the dog Zarus, who, in general terms, ended up following the same route as Rex and having the same behaviour.
It is important to state that this tracking work was carried out in an urban area and more than 24 hours after the girl’s disappearance and numerous persons had passed along the path the dogs were tracking. It should also be stated that the path the dogs followed within the resort was practically totally surrounded by walls and the concentration of odours was stronger as they were protected from the wind. The searches finished at about 01.30”
“On 7th May the same searches were continued, being extended to to the entire northern part of Almadena to the site of Espojeiro and the verges of the EN125 until the Boi valley.
“At about 19.. the undersigned officer, accompanied by the Commander, Officer Silva, took part in a meetings with the PJ Directorate, being asked by the PJ about the viability of giving the girl’s clothes to the dogs for the dogs to sniff again, and if by means of the odour inhaled, they would be able to mark an identical odour in one of the resort’s apartments even though its door was closed.
With regard to this task, Officer Silva referred to the fact that the time that had passed would be a crucial condition for the dogs’ work in obtaining results and that the entirety of the human odours existing in the apartments and access paths could make the dogs’ searches very difficult. However, in spite of not being a normal situation for tracking, it could be attempted, whilst the operation should be carried out as quickly as possible and not directed towards one but to all the apartments in the resort, it being appropriate for the handler not to know which apartment was chosen, so as not the be conditioned.
In this concrete situation, the objective would be for the dogs to carry out a discontinuous search, in other words, to sniff the girl’s clothes and immediately search near to the apartments, checking to see if there was any change in the behaviour of the dogs.”
“At about 23.00 accompanied by a PJ inspector, the searches were begun. After Rex was given the girl’s clothing to sniff, he began to search on the ground floor of block 5 and when he passed the door of apartment 5 A (the place the girl had disappeared from) according to his handler, officer Fernandes, the dog altered its behaviour, sniffing with greater intensity than he had done before. Apartment 5J of the same block was also checked as the dog had been more agitated than before as if there were a very strong strange odour there. It was stated that this apartment had been unoccupied for some time. Afterwards, the same kind of search was carried out using the dog Zarus which in general terms showed the same behaviour in the same places as Rex had done.”
“ On 10th May at about 20.10, upon the request of the PJ, searches were carried out in all of the apartments belonging to blocks 4 and 5 of the OC, two tracker dogs and two search and rescue dogs being used for this operation, adopting the same methods as those used on 7th May, just that this time the apartments were all open and searched one by one, being accompanied by a representative from the resort, who had the keys to all the apartments (apart from those not under her administration) and also with the objective of helping with the searches. The collaboration of all the guests occupying the apartments at that time was requested for this purpose and those apartments that were found to be empty were opened by the administrator.
All the apartments were searched by the dogs and when they arrived at apartment 5 J they began to sniff with intensity at the entrance door. During this behaviour it was noted by the PJ officers that there must be some unusual odour, but which with all certainty did not have anything to do with the odour being searched for, but there must have been something strange inside.
After entering the apartment, it was observed that the odour came from close to the fridge, which was open and contained some rotting meat and vegetables.
During the searches carried out in the apartments no sign of the girl was found by the dogs.”
“As you know, yesterday, 8 May 2007 at 23h45, the undersigned joined a search effected by the GNR dog team which targeted Blocks 5 and 4 of the Ocean Club resort and adjacent areas, with the objective of trying to reconstruct the possible route taken by the missing child on 3 May 2007.”
The GNR team performing the search had in its possession, packed in a plastic bag, a towel supposedly used to clean the missing youngster - Madeleine McCann - furnished by her parents.
- After the conditions for the search are met, the two GNR officers - the leader and the dog handler - gave the scent towel to one of the dogs to smell and led it into Block 5.
“It is true to say that the dogs effectively showed interest in the above-mentioned apartments, without giving an indication needed to their handler that they had [found] the presence of the trail of the missing child. It is also certain that the course that they made to the car park next to Block 6 was done without hesitation and in a most convincing manner.
- To better understand the routes taken by the dogs, there are attached four images/maps of the area of the Ocean Club resort, the route taken by the dogs from Block 5 to the car park being marked in red and yellow.
- Further, in an informal conversation with the GNR team, they advised that on the 4 May they had done the same work, with no control over the direction taken by the dogs, i.e. they were not directed into the buildings, it being certain that they took the same route described above, with the same attitude, losing the trail next to the car park of Block 6.”
Whether relevant or not , there is a phenomena that has been noted by many trainers / dog handlers, some dogs will follow a persons scent trail, often many days old, but fail to close in on that person if the subjects has died.
They may register the scent change but whether from fear, difference in odour, or some other reason may not approach the body, appear confused and display different behaviour.. In reality the dog is showing an aversion to the scent emitted by the dead body (cadaver).
Though the dogs change in behaviour was put down to waist foodstuffs, the S&R Dogs are trained scent discrimination dogs, but they are not trained to locate the scent of a cadaver.
“ the dog altered its behaviour, sniffing with greater intensity than he had done before. Apartment 5J of the same block was also checked as the dog had been more agitated than before as if there were a very strong strange odour there”
“Afterwards, the same kind of search was carried out using the dog Zarus which in general terms showed the same behaviour in the same places as Rex had done.”