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Madeleine's parents reject 'outrageous' drugging theory

Theories that missing four-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann overdosed on sedatives administered by her parents, both doctors, are ludicrous, an outraged Gerry McCann told Spanish TV.

'It is ludicrous,' missing girl's father says of claims parents sedated daughter

Theories that missing four-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann overdosed on sedatives administered by her parents, both doctors, are "ludicrous," an outraged Gerry McCann told Spanish TV.

Kate and Gerry McCann took part in their first televised interview since being named as suspects in the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine. ((Antena 3/Associated Press))
In their first broadcast interview since being named as suspects in their daughter's disappearance, the McCanns appeared on the Antena 3 station to publicize a 24-hour, confidential tip line they set up in Spain to attract leads about their daughter.

Spain, Portugal and Morocco are three countries the McCanns hope might still produce leads in the case.

But the interview, which aired Wednesday night, quickly overwhelmed Madeleine's mother, Kate, who broke down in tears as she and her husband were asked to address reports they had accidentally killed Madeleine and are conspiring in a coverup.

"It is ludicrous," Gerry McCann said. "It is outrageous."

Media reports have indicated that Portuguese investigators believe the McCanns gave Madeleine sleeping drugs before leaving to dine with friends at a hotel tapas bar about 50 metres away from their flat. At the time, the McCanns were on a family holiday at the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz.

"I was the last to see her," Gerry McCann said in the interview, recalling how he returned from the restaurant at 9:05 p.m. to check on Madeleine, who was sleeping, as well as their two younger children. "I saw her and thought how beautiful she was and thought how lucky I was to be a father of three children."

'I feel in my heart that she is there'

The theory is that once Madeleine's parents realized they had overdosed and accidentally caused their daughter's death, they rushed to dispose of her body.

The McCanns have repeatedly rejected that suggestion.

"I feel sad and I feel lonely, and our life is not as happy without Madeleine. I feel anxious that she is not with us," a tearful Kate McCann told Antena 3 reporter Roberto Arce.

She said she still holds out hope Madeleine is alive.

"I think she is possibly being held by someone in their house, but I don't know. As Madeleine's mummy I feel in my heart that she is there," she said.

Madeleine vanished on May 3, just a few days shy of her fourth birthday. Police investigated the possibility she was abducted from her hotel room, but Kate and Gerry McCann became the centre of the probe — named as formal suspects — after lab tests conducted in Britain found Madeleine's DNA in the trunk of a car they rented after Madeleine vanished.

The McCanns are now back home in Britain.

With files from the Associated Press

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