The international hunt for missing British girl Madeleine McCann took several new twists yesterday as the investigation appeared to focus more tightly on her parents.

Portuguese police moved closer to charging the parents Kate and Gerry McCann after demanding the mother's diary be seized as trial evidence.

Madeleine, 3, disappeared from a room in a Portuguese holiday resort in May while her parents dined at a nearby restaurant.

Blood found in a car hired by her parents weeks after she disappeared definitely came from the British girl, it was reported yesterday.

The Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha cited police sources as saying new tests on blood found in the hire car conclusively showed it was Madeleine's.

"The definitive result of the tests leave no doubts for the Policia Judiciaria. The blood found in the McCanns' car is that of Madeleine as well as those samples detected in the flat," the paper said.

Portuguese police have also reportedly cast doubt on evidence an expat Briton was spotted near the resort the night of the disappearance. They say Robert Murat, who has been questioned several times, maintains he was home on the night and that the man seen may have been a friend of the McCanns.

The McCanns - officially suspects in Portugal - reacted in fury to the claims.

Portuguese newspapers have already published what they claim are extracts from Kate's journal and say the diary is fundamental to the belief that the 39-year-old GP and mother-of-three was involved in the death of her daughter.

Passages are said to reveal a mother at her wits' end coping with three hysterical kids. Her twins, Sean and Amelie, were aged 2 when their sister vanished. Cardiologist Gerry, 39, is said to be portrayed as an absent dad happy to leave his wife to shoulder the burden while he relaxed on holiday.

Unsourced claims in the Portuguese media said police believed the child was killed in the apartment and her body moved in a car hired 25 days after she vanished.

In England, The Sun newspaper has reported the parents are depressed that again wild rumour and speculation is being presented as fact.

The British paper claims it is ridiculous to suggest Madeleine's blood was in the car because she was never in it.

According to Correio Da Manha, the police case against the McCanns consisted of sniffer dogs and that traces of blood indicate the presence of the little girl's body behind a sofa and in the trunk of the car.

Kate and Gerry have always maintained there are innocent explanations for DNA found.