Madeleine McCann investigators contact Australian police over body
Scotland Yard says police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have contacted Australian authorities over the discovery of a young girl’s remains in a suitcase.
The remains of a blond girl likely to have been aged between two and four were found dumped on the side of a rural highway in the South Australian wild earlier this month. The girl is believed to have been killed at a different location at some time since the start of 2007, according to South Australia police. The remains were found in a suitcase along with items of clothing and a degraded quilt next to a motorway in Wynarka, near Adelaide.
Many are speculating that the remains could be those of McCann, who had blonde hair and was three years old when she went missing from her family’s holiday apartment in the Algarve, Portugal, on 3 May 2007.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan police said: “We are aware of reports of the remains of a child having been found in South Australia and we have made contact with the Australian authorities.”
Australian authorities have so far been unable to identify the body, but Det Supt Des Bray, the officer in charge of the major crime investigation branch of South Australia police, said it was “highly unlikely” that the victim is Madeleine.
“At this time our inquiries will focus on where the evidence leads us in this investigation and at this point that primary focus remains within Australia,” Bray said.
Australian police commissioner Grant Stevens told a parliamentary committee hearing: “There is absolutely no evidence at this point in time that the child is Madeleine McCann … to suggest something like that at this point in time would purely be speculating to get attention.
“We are focusing our inquiries on South Australia but we would be considering any potential missing child. Until we ascertain the identity of the child we need to be open to all possibilities.”