[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 5 August 2007, 17:30 GMT 18:30 UK
Madeleine police finish search
Madeleine McCann
Madeleine has now been missing for three months
Police in Portugal investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have ended a two-day search of the home of Robert Murat.

Mr Murat, 33, the only official suspect in the case of the missing child, denies any involvement.

Police returned to the house at 0700 (0600 GMT) to search inside the property and its grounds.

Mr Murat was present during most of the search and is said to be relaxed about the police investigation.

His spokesman, Tuck Price, said Mr Murat was doing his best to help the police with their inquiries.

Earlier, Mr Murat's uncle, Ralph Eveleigh, said his family welcomed the search.

Scanning equipment

"What we're hoping is it will actually clear Robert completely of this whole investigation.

"He's very, very pleased with what's happening because the English police seem to be calling the shots. They're in charge of the whole search of the house," Mr Eveleigh told the BBC.

Mummy, I've had the best day ever
Kate McCann's recollections of her daughter's last words to her

BBC correspondent Steve Kingstone said police were using scanning equipment over the floorboards inside the premises in Praia da Luz.

As many as 10 officers - including two British detectives - spent 12 hours on Saturday searching Mr Murat's Algarve villa, which is owned by his mother.

Much of the day had been spent clearing thick vegetation, and a sniffer dog with a British handler inspected the premises.

Mr Murat, who was declared a suspect 10 days after Madeleine was last seen, was not arrested or questioned. He was on the premises with his lawyer as the latest search was conducted.

Mother's regret

The BBC understands British police were invited to review key aspects of the case by their Portuguese counterparts.

A Portuguese investigator conducting a search
Portuguese investigators are conducting a thorough search

Police are also investigating a possible sighting of Madeleine at a restaurant in Tongeren, Belgium, on the Dutch border.

On Sunday, Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann attended Mass at a local Catholic church in Praia da Luz.

Mrs McCann has also spoken of her regret at leaving her children alone in their holiday apartment while she and her husband Gerry had dinner at a nearby restaurant on the night the four-year-old disappeared.

"We are just so desperately sorry. Every hour now, I still question, 'Why did I think that was safe?' If I had had to think for one second, 'Should we have dinner and leave them?', I wouldn't have done it.

"It didn't happen like that. I didn't have to think for a second, that's how safe I felt."

She said that she tucked Madeleine into bed that night, the little girl said: "Mummy, I've had the best day ever. I'm having lots and lots of fun."

Asked what message she would send to her daughter, Mrs McCann said: "I would tell her that we love her. She knows we love her very much.

"She knows we are looking for her, that we are doing absolutely everything and we will never give up."

The McCanns have also backed a scheme aimed at letting parents and staff know what steps to take as soon as a child goes missing on holiday.

Code Madeleine is based on Code Adam in the US, named after abducted six-year-old Adam Walsh.

Police search Robert Murat's home in Portugal

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific