PORTIMAO, Portugal – Portuguese police Thursday questioned the mother of a missing British toddler, the girl's family said, a day after authorities received new forensic evidence in a case that has gripped Europe for the past four months.
Kate McCann went to a police station in Portimao, a town in Portugal's Algarve region, where she was answering questions from detectives investigating the disappearance of her 4-year-old daughter Madeleine, the family said in a statement.
It was not clear what subject was being discussed, or whether the encounter amounted to formal questioning or was simply an interview. The McCanns, both doctors from central England, have kept up a massive media campaign since Madeleine's disappearance. They have not been named as suspects. Police said Thursday they could not comment on details of the investigation.
Police spokesman Olegario Sousa told The Associated Press on Thursday that authorities have received some results from forensic tests of the couple's vacation apartment, but declined to elaborate on the findings.
The tests — on specks of blood, items of clothing and other objects in the apartment — were conducted at a British laboratory.
Police had earlier said they intended to question Kate and her husband Gerry together. Media reports in Portugal and Britain said Gerry would be questioned separately on Friday.
The couple has stayed in the Algarve since Madeleine vanished May 3 from a vacation apartment where she was sleeping with her 2-year-old twin siblings.
Her parents were having dinner in the hotel's pool-side restaurant with vacationing friends and said they checked on their children at regular intervals.
In recent months they have attended meetings with the police together. Officials described those meetings as informal, saying they wanted to keep the parents informed of developments in the case.
The McCanns have run an Internet campaign to find their daughter. A fund they started to help find missing or abducted children has raised more than 1 million pounds (euro1.5 million; US$2 million).
They have also visited several countries where she could have been taken by an abductor and met with foreign officials.