Madeleine McCann private detective found dead in a pool of blood was accused of duping family out of $300k
While Halligen's death was originally deemed 'unexplained' coroner Richard Travers heard he died from a brain hemorrhage and that investigators had found 'no suspicious circumstances'
A coroner has ruled that the private detective who was accused of duping Madeleine McCann’s family out of £300,000 ($372,180) had died after falling at his home.
56-year-old Kevin Halligen's home was said to have been "bloodied" when his body was found there on January 8, 2018, the Daily Mirror reports.
While Halligen's death was originally deemed "unexplained", coroner Richard Travers heard he died from a brain hemorrhage and that investigators had found "no suspicious circumstances." The inquest recorded Halligen as an “intelligence and security officer” despite him being a convicted con artist.
Oakley International, the agency he ran, received £300,000 ($372,180) from public donations following Madeleine's 2007 disappearance in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
Halligen was subsequently accused of siphoning off the cash to pay for first-class travel luxurious hotels, and a chauffeur. He later denied the claims. But in 2012, Halligen admitted to conning millions of pounds from a company whose executives had been kidnapped in Africa. He was subsequently jailed for the same.
In 2018, paramedics responded to his Halligen's residence in Normandy, Surrey, but could not save him despite their best efforts. An autopsy would later reveal he died of an acute subdural hemorrhage. Last week, a pathologist testified at Woking coroner’s court that there was “no sign of an assault."
According to the Mirror, his death was reported to the coroner under the name of Richard Powell. “Mr Powell suffered a fall at his home address... and an ambulance was called," Coroner Richard Travers said, recording a verdict of accidental death. “Despite attempts to save his life Mr Powell died at 05:26 hours that same day. Police attended and found no suspicious circumstances and the postmortem examination did not reveal injuries consistent with an assault or third-party involvement.”
Investigative journalist Adrian Gatton, who had worked with Halligen previously, said he had become addicted to alcohol. “A lot of people wished him ill but his death is almost certainly related to alcoholism," he said at the time of his death.
This comes just days after Maddie's parents said they are still "haunted" by her disappearance as they mark 13 years since she went missing during a family holiday in Portugal. Kate and Gerry McCann were to be joined by supporters and well-wishers for a prayer gathering to mark the occasion, but due to social distancing measures amid the coronavirus pandemic, the physical gathering was replaced by a virtual coming together of Maddie's supporters.
Kate and Gerry said they were thinking of those suffering in lockdown at the moment just days ahead of the annual event.
"There will be many vulnerable people whose situation will have become even more precarious in the current lockdown conditions, with fear, worry, and isolation - emotions that we dreaded Madeleine experiencing and which haunted us for a long time - and still do on occasions," they wrote on the Find Maddie website. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all those suffering at this time."
The embattled couple also noted how Madeleine's 17th birthday was just around the corner."Her 17th birthday is to follow in the next couple of weeks - the latter tangibly, painfully, bringing it home to us what we have missed and continue to miss as a family," they said. “I don't think any of us could have predicted the situation we all find ourselves in currently."
"It shows how easy it is to become complacent with our lives and circumstances, albeit a totally normal and understandable, human characteristic," Kate and Gerry explained. "We have been fortunate to spend more time together as a family since lockdown began, an enforced block to a usually frenetic life, a silver lining to this dark cloud."
"It has made us think about Madeleine even more, as she would have shared this period of special closeness with us too," they added.