The dogs being used by the British police are apparently very highly trained as, "cadaver," dogs, which can sniff out if a dead body has been in a place. For these dogs to detect the odour of a corpse, the person has to have been dead for at least two hours, which is when the odour changes to that of a dead person, rather than a living person. Both Sol and Correio da Manha report that the dogs picked up the scent of a body having been in the McCanns holiday apartment. Both journals cite sources with the Portuguese police. (PJ) I will paste a translation of the Correio da Manha in its entirety. It makes very interesting reading.
The home of Robert Murat has been searched again, a search which initially was going to take around 4 days. The BBC News 24 Channel reported today, at around 5pm, BST, that the search had ended and that two vehicles belonging to Mr Murat would be taken for forensic tests.
Translation of Correio da Manha article follows.**********
"The PJ is focusing its investigations on the circle close to the McCanns and is trying to reexamine (toward excusion “depistar”) clues that pointed to Robert Murat. The thesis of an abduction is beginning to be discounted, after English dogs detected a scent that points to the existence of a body in the holiday home.
The PJ believes that Madeleine may have been killed in the Algarve apartment where she was spending her holidays with her parents and brothers, in May. The thingyer Spaniel dogs, specially trained by the English police, on the trail of the missing child since Wednesday, detected a scent that points to the presence of a body in the premises.
Yesterday, after having conducted searches on the beach, where the body may have been thrown into the water, the authorities centered their attention on Robert Murat’s home, the only suspect in the case.
The same dogs conducted a search of the entire garden of Casa Liliana - which was subjected to cleaning operations and the uprooting of trees by the Civil Protection - but nothing was found. They left the preimses at 20.00, not having detected any traces of the presence of the girl.
The trail now being followed by the police, revealed yesterday in ‘Sol’ and confirmed by Correi da Manha, complements the other information gathered at the beginning of the investigation and which confused the PJ. A sniffer-dog used by the GNR police picked up a trace of the child between the apartment where Madeleine was sleeping and a second house in the same complex, which led the PJ to never exclude the possibility that the child had been taken by someone who knew her.
The scent detected now in the McCann’s apartment recentres the investigation on the immediate circle of the girl’s parents and friends, although the reasons that may have led to the child’s death remain unknown. The PJ is showing special caution at this phase of the investigation and the names of the principle suspects have not been shared.
Murat may be innocent
The searches that were conducted yesterday at the home of Robert Murat could contribute to clearing the suspect. Nothing of relevance was found at the home of the English translator, who was declared a suspect early in the case. A possibility that is supported by his lawyer Francisco Pagarate, who yesterday reaffirmed to Correio Da Manha the innocence of his client. “”We are leaving the GNR in the house to avoid damage” he said, noting nevertheless that the search continued today and that the presence of the military overnight was to ensure that there would be no damage to the site overnight.
According to Correio da Manha’s inquiries, the investigation has done a U-turn in recent weeks. The arrival of the English dogs and taking them to the holiday apartment was done to confirm this possibility, given that the suspects are now centered in the immediate circles of the McCann famil, the only ones who can explain the alleged death of the child, while still at home.
The theory of an abduction, according to a PJ source contacted by Correi da Manha, appears increasingly unlikely, given that this could only have occurred in a scenario in which the child was alive. Yesterday’s searches, backed by a judicial warrant, began at 0730.
Body at least two hours in the house
A body only has the odour of a cadaver a minimum of two hours after death, until then, it remains warm and transmits, to any dog, the odor of a living person, indicated to Correio da Manha submission Paulo Brisso, former deputy commander of the Grupo Operacoinal Cinotecnico of the PSP.
In other words, for a thingyer Spaniel of the English authorities to have detected Madeleine’s death in the apartment in which she was sleeping, at the Ócean Club’, the girl must have been dead in the location “between two and four hours”.
Paulo Brisso, who was also a trainer of military dogs for the Air Forces, explained that “Portugal does not have dogs with the ability to search for deceased people because the chemical product used to training, simulating the odour of death, is expensive."