Madeleine McCann's DNA found in parents' car wasn't analyzed properly: Expert

Dr. Mark Perlin claims that he can use data from the DNA tests carried out on samples from the McCanns' holiday flat and rental car to solve the mystery in a week's time


                            Madeleine McCann's DNA found in parents' car wasn't analyzed properly: Expert

A UK forensics laboratory hit a dead end in the Madeliene McCann case eleven years ago when a team of its top scientists was unsuccessful in unraveling critical DNA evidence that could have proved conclusive to solving the mystery.

Almost a month after she was reported missing on May 3, 2007, the missing British girl's DNA samples were found in the apartment and in the boot of a rental vehicle hired by her parents Kate and Gerry McCann. However, after an analysis, the samples were judged "inconclusive" by the Forensic Science Service (FSS), 9news reports.

Kate and Gerry McCann the parents of missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann arrive at Faro airport by car to board an Easyjet plane back to England on September 9, 2007 in Faro, Portugual (Getty Images)
Kate and Gerry McCann the parents of missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann arrive at Faro airport by car to board an Easyjet plane back to England on September 9, 2007 in Faro, Portugual (Getty Images)

However, Dr. Mark Perlin, one of the top DNA scientists in the world, has now claimed he can crack those once-puzzling samples in a week's time if he's given access to the data.

According to the scientist, it is "possible" that Madeleine's DNA was present in the hired vehicle. If that's the case, it could open up another full-scale police investigation after it was shut down in 2007 owing to the "inconclusive" results.



 

"What was interesting about the report from the FSS 10 years ago is they're trying to interpret [the McCann DNA] data," Dr. Perlin said. "The approach [the FSS would] like to take for a match statistic makes sense, but the way they are going about it is just very old fashioned and it doesn't work — certainly compared with modern methods."

The DNA testing software created by Dr. Perlin's team is reportedly "a quantum leap ahead of the forensic science used in 2007, when the McCann samples were tested," according to the outlet.



 

The doctor, who is also the chief scientist of US-based Cybergenetics, said the UK lab which returned a series of inconclusive results to Portuguese police had "failed" miserably.

"What this [FSS] report says is there is a possibility that Madeleine McCann's DNA is present in this mixture," Dr. Perlin told producers exclusively in the fifth episode of 'Maddie', Nine.com.au's podcast investigation into Madeleine's disappearance. He further explained how the outdated testing methods adopted by FSS in the McCann case were destined to fail as they were subjective and prone to human bias.

Media surround the McCann family car as it leaves the apartment in Praia da Luz with the twins September 8, 2007 in the Algarve, Portugal (Getty Images)
Media surround the McCann family car as it leaves the apartment in Praia da Luz with the twins September 8, 2007 in the Algarve, Portugal (Getty Images)

According to him, the raft of DNA samples presented by the FSS as "inconclusive" may hold critical information that could break the case wide open. "[If] a lab can produce informative data, even if it is complex and mixed, but they can't interpret it, then you can have tremendous injustice; of guilty people not being convicted, of innocent people staying in prison. What is needed is an objective and accurate interpretation that can scientifically resolve the DNA," he said.



 

Dr. Perlin boasted of TrueAllele, a set of modern computational DNA testing methods he has pioneered, that could unravel the decades-long mystery and, in turn, assist the London Metropolitan Police investigation.

"TrueAllele has been used successfully in the UK and elsewhere around the world to solve problems just like this, and if [the London Metropolitan Police] want to know the answer, it won't cost them anything," he said. "Just send us the data and we will give them the answer."

Now, Dr. Perlin has solicited data that is routinely archived by forensic organizations around the world, such as the FSS and other official UK bodies, to conduct his own analysis. "It would be a great way to resolve the case using modern technology and get a definitive answer to at least this one question that had perplexed the FSS ten years ago," he said.



 

At the time of the incident, Portuguese police were widely ridiculed for failing to secure the scene after they reportedly allowed journalists and locals to walk around and possibly contaminate the apartment just days after Madeleine's disappearance, The Sun reports.

Almost a month after the incident, police spaniels Eddie and Keela were brought in to comb the area. They reportedly alerted their handler beside a wardrobe and behind a sofa. They also allegedly detected scents in the boot and on the driver's door of a silver Renault Scenic hired by the McCanns.

However, the canines' hyper-sensitive noses could have been picking up scents from long before the McCanns used the vehicle or stayed at the apartment, the handler said.

A report filed by UK police after the search said: "No inference can be drawn as to whether a human cadaver has previously been in any location without other supporting physical evidence."

Following the failed probe, Kate and Gerry were cleared of any involvement in their daughter’s disappearance.

Dr. Mark Perlin features in the latest episode of 'Maddie', Nine.com.au’s podcast investigation.