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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 October 2007, 09:39 GMT
McCanns used fund to pay mortgage
Kate and Gerry McCann outside their house in Rothley

The fighting fund set up to help find Madeleine McCann was used by her parents to make two mortgage payments, their spokesman has said.

Clarence Mitchell said: "The fund has always had the ability to assist the family financially if necessary."

He said Kate and Gerry McCann stopped using the fund in September when they were made formal suspects in the case.

Four-year-old Madeleine, from Rothley, Leicestershire, vanished from her holiday apartment in Portugal on 3 May.

On Saturday, her family will hold a church service to mark six months since she was last seen in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz.

Mr McCann wrote in his latest internet diary entry: "We will be marking this milestone very quietly with an ecumenical prayer service for Madeleine and other missing children in the local Anglican church."

'Changed status'

According to the Find Madeleine website, the fund has so far received more than 1million in donations.

At its launch, Madeleine's uncle John McCann said: "This fund will be a vehicle to help our family get our darling, wee niece back."

Mr Mitchell said Mr and Mrs McCann began using it earlier this year to help pay their mortgage.

"When they were made arguido [suspects], it stopped, which was a mutual decision on the part of the fund and the McCanns," he said.

The McCanns have released a sketch of a male suspect

"They were happy to accept that their changed status meant they were no longer entitled to that assistance."

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Mr McCann, 39, will return to his job as a consultant cardiologist at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital on Thursday.

It is understood he will initially work three half-days each week and will not have any direct contact with patients until his employers feel he is ready.

He and Mrs McCann, 39, who is a GP, have been on unpaid leave since Madeleine disappeared.

Elsewhere, it has been reported that private investigators from the Spanish detective agency hired by the McCanns have found another blonde girl who they believe has been kidnapped.

Sources at the Metodo 3 agency reportedly claim Interpol is investigating the discovery of the girl living in the Rif mountains in northern Morocco.

The Daily Mirror newspaper also claimed that the new Portuguese officer leading the hunt for Madeleine, Paulo Rebelo, spent three hours examining the McCanns' holiday apartment on Monday.

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