LISBON, Portugal – Portuguese investigators acted hastily in naming the parents of British girl Madeleine McCann as suspects in her disappearance last year, a senior police official said in an interview broadcast Sunday.
"There was a certain haste" in naming Kate and Gerry McCann as formal suspects in the case, Alipio Ribeiro, head of the Portuguese police's detective branch, told Radio Renascenca.
"Perhaps there should have been a different evaluation. I have no doubt about this," Ribeiro said.
Madeleine McCann disappeared May 3, a few days before her 4th birthday, during a family vacation in Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve region.
Madeleine's parents, who have run an international campaign to find their daughter, returned to Britain in September, a day after they were named as formal suspects in the case.
Forensic tests conducted at a government laboratory in Britain found evidence that DNA from Madeleine was in the trunk of a rental car the parents used after her disappearance.
But Portuguese police said the tests on the car were not conclusive and that investigations continued. No one has been charged.
The inquiry initially focused on the possibility that Madeleine had been abducted from her hotel room at a resort while her parents were dining at a nearby restaurant.