ROTHLEY, England — Portuguese police prepared documents to hand to prosecutors on Monday outlining the case in the disappearance of 4-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann, as her parents awaited the outcome at the family home.
“We are getting the case file ready to hand over to the public prosecutor … by the end of the day,” police spokesman Olegario Sousa told The Associated Press.
Kate and Gerry McCann and another British national, Robert Murat, are the only suspects named by police.
Four months after the disappearance of their daughter, the McCanns returned to Britain with their two other children Sunday as media speculation about what the police inquiry had unearthed continued to swirl.
Madeleine’s disappearance, and her parents’ high-profile campaign to find her, has attracted attention around the world. The story took a startling twist Friday when Portuguese police formally named Madeleine’s parents suspects in the case.
The McCanns kept a low profile Monday, avoiding reporters and cameras camped outside their home.
“They’re holding up extremely well,” Brian Kennedy, Kate McCann’s uncle, told reporters outside the couple’s home.
Gerry McCann said on Sunday it was heartbreaking to come home without his daughter Madeleine, despite an extensive effort to find her.
“Whilst it is heartbreaking to return to the U.K. without Madeleine, it does not mean we are giving up the search for her,” he said, his voice shaking.
“We have played no part in the disappearance of our lovely daughter Madeleine,” he said.
Gerry McCann’s sister, Philomena McCann, said Monday that the couple were emotionally exhausted but remained strong.
“Kate is a very strong young woman and emotionally the anger welled up, to come home now helps them to pause and get direction again,” Philomena McCann told GMTV.
“They are taking legal advice and trying to work through the maze that is the Portuguese legal system.”
In an interview with a Sunday newspaper, Kate McCann said Portuguese police had pressed her to confess that she had killed Madeleine accidentally, then hid her body and pretended that the girl had been abducted in a massive cover-up.
“They are basically saying, ‘If you confess Madeleine had an accident, and that I panicked and hid the body in a bag for a month then got rid of it in a hire car, I’d get two or three years’ suspended sentence,”’ she was quoted as telling the Sunday Mirror on Friday after her first police interrogation.
Although Portuguese police named the McCanns suspects in the May 3 disappearance of their daughter, they did not confiscate their passports or restrict their movements.
Gerry McCann said he and his wife had returned home “with the full agreement of the Portuguese authorities and police.”
The McCanns say Madeleine vanished from a hotel room in southern Portugal’s Algarve region, where she and her siblings were sleeping, while her parents ate dinner at a nearby restaurant.
Until Friday, suspicion had centered on Robert Murat, a British man who lived near the hotel from where Madeleine disappeared and who was the only formal suspect. He has not been charged, and he has said he is innocent.