Reeling from accusations that they may have killed their missing daughter, Gerry and Kate McCann returned to their native England on Sunday as Portuguese prosecutors continued to weigh evidence against the couple in the May 3 disappearance of their daughter Madeleine.
Portuguese police are expected to present their case file to the public prosecutor's office today.
Police believe Madeleine's parents accidentally killed the now 4-year-old girl, then hid her body before disposing of it.
Some reports said a police dog picked up the scent of a corpse in the apartment where Madeleine was last seen, but the girl's body has not been found.
According to Reuters, the McCanns consulted lawyers in Britain after being formally declared suspects by the Portuguese police Friday, though the couple have yet to be charged.
After her interrogation, Kate McCann was interviewed by the British tabloid the Sunday Mirror. She said the police accused her of accidentally killing her own daughter, of hiding the body and starting a cover-up to pretend that Madeleine had been abducted.
"The police don't want a pedophile murder here, so they are blaming us," McCann reportedly told the tabloid. "The police said, 'Just lie.' … If I confessed Madeleine had an accident and that I panicked and hid the body in a bag for a month, and then got rid of it in a hire car … I'd get two or three years suspended sentence."
The police action seems to be based on forensic tests of DNA and blood taken from the McCanns' vacation apartment and from a car they rented three weeks after Madeleine's disappearance. Since Madeleine vanished without a trace May 3, Portuguese authorities have been under enormous pressure to find her or to find out what happened to her.
The accusations have turned the public's overwhelming feelings of sympathy for the McCanns into suspicion, angering the couple's family members.
"I am furious and the family is furious," said Madeleine's aunt Philomena McCann. "It is adding insult to injury. The police aren't looking for Madeleine anymore. They're looking for evidence that her parents were involved in her death."
The Search Will Continue
The McCanns said they will continue the search for their daughter and have vowed to clear their names. "We played no part in the disappearance of our lovely daughter, Madeleine," Gerry McCann said.
After forensic tests were conducted on evidence collected from the family's holiday apartment and bodily fluids found in a car the McCanns rented weeks after Madeleine disappeared, the couple faced hours of police questioning.
But, some experts question the validity of the forensic samples.
"You may have to ask yourself, has there been some sort of contamination," said Peter Kirkham, a retired Scotland Yard official. "Has the scene been secured properly? How were the samples … taken? How have they been handled since? But usually they are pretty reliable."
More test results are expected and Portuguese police are reportedly planning further searches today.