Private detectives searching for Madeleine McCann are hoping to conduct DNA tests on known pedophile Raymond Hewlett, to establish any involvement in the little girl’s disappearance.
Investigators hired by the McCann’s are in Aachen, Germany, today, in an effort to question Hewlett, 64, who is recovering from throat cancer surgery in a hospital.
An Aachen police spokesman said that the public prosecutor will decide over the next few days whether to give Hewlett the test.
Hewlett, a convicted child rapist in the UK, was living near the McCann’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance May 2007.
Police will use the DNA test to compare Hewlett’s DNA samples to unidentified samples found in the McCann’s holiday flat at the time of the abduction.
Clarence Mitchell, the McCann family spokesman, said he hoped Hewlett would co operate with their investigation. Speaking yesterday he said;
‘Mr Hewlett has denied any involvement in Madeleine’s abduction.
‘Our investigators hope he will co-operate by giving them whatever information is needed so they can eliminate him from the investigation.’
Marianna Schmuker, Hewlett’s wife, said that her husband had nothing to do with the little girl’s disappearance, declaring him ‘innocent’; even after news emerged that he had been spotted outside the McCann’s apartment in Praia da Luz ‘many times’.
Yesterday, a witness came forward to reveal that Hewlett had talked non-stop about the Madeleine case in the weeks after she vanished in May 2007.
Hewlett had been living in the area at the time of the abduction, but left and went to Morocco soon after.
According to witness Peter Verran, a former Scots Guardsman, Hewlett seemed to know a lot about the McCann’s and the resort where Madeleine was taken from.
Mr Verran, who was camping with his family in Morocco, had expressed concern that police would mistake his child for Madeleine, since she bore a resemblance to the missing girl, but Hewlett quickly replied that Madeleine was not in Morocco.
He appeared to know a lot about the Ocean Club complex where the McCann’s had been staying, explaining that he had been to the resort many times and used to park his van close to their apartment. He boasted about knowing the layout of the resort, the restaurant where the McCann’s had been eating and the flat where Madeleine was taken from.
Verran went on to say, ‘He (Hewlett) said it was common knowledge among locals that Praia da Luz in general and the Ocean Club in particular was a magnet for Romanian gypsies who abduct and then traffic children.
‘I asked him why he’d left and come to Morocco. He told me he’d had to leave Portugal in a hurry.
‘He said he’d packed his family up in half an hour and just driven out of the area. That was just after Maddie was taken.’
The McCann’s spokesperson stated that although Hewlett is, ‘a person of interest’ to the investigation, he is just one of many leads they are following.
Hewlett has strenuously denied having anything to do with the disappearance of Madeleine, saying, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong – nothing, nothing.’
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