Forensic checks on Maddie perv's van

27 June 2009
The Sun
Simon Hughes and Antonella Lazzeri

A van used by Maddie McCann suspect Raymond Hewlett will be "ripped apart" in a hunt for clues. Private detectives believe forensic checks could provide crucial evidence about the toddler's disappearance. The battered blue Dodge has been seized by cops in Germany, where paedo Hewlett, 64, is being treated for cancer. A source close to the probe added: "It will be ripped apart to look for a trace of Maddie."

Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Maddie's parents Gerry and Kate, 41, said: "Our investigators have known about the vehicle for some time." A former detective with more than 20 years' experience said: "A single hair or a clothing fibre could provide the breakthrough everyone is so desperate for."

Hewlett and the van were a familiar sight when Maddie, then three, was snatched from her holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007. It was the one vehicle he was known to drive at the time.

Hewlett has been jailed three times for sex attacks on young girls but has insisted: "I didn't kill the McCann girl." He claimed he was 60 miles away when Maddie disappeared.

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