Yorkshire sniffer dog at heart of search for clues

8 August 2007
Yorkshire Post

A HIGHLY trained sniffer dog from Yorkshire has been involved in an operation to try to discover what happened in the minutes leading up to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Among its 60-strong dog unit, South Yorkshire Police three specialists -two springer spaniels and a border collie - which have already been used in Britain and abroad to detect human remains and traces of blood at the scenes of crimes.

It is understood that one of the spaniels, called Eddie, has travelled to Portugal with his handler, Pc Martin Grime, and has been working at both the apartment where Madeleine went missing and at the home of suspect Robert Murat.

Portuguese police have admitted that British sniffer dogs have been used in a review of the case, during which officers are said to have discovered traces of blood at the holiday apartment in Praia de Luz.

British police forces offered local detectives the use of dogs earlier in the case just days after Madeleine went missing. The help was rejected at that time, with Portuguese dogs used instead.

Police leading the inquiry in Praia de Luz have refused to confirm where the dogs used in the review came from, saying only that they were brought in with their handlers from England.

A spokesman from South Yorkshire Police said they could not confirm that the force had sent dogs because the review was being led by officers from Leicestershire, where the McCanns have their family home.

But a police source said that at least one specialist dog had been sent from the police dog training school in Sheffield, which has previously assisted in inquiries in Northern Ireland and attracted the attention of the FBI.

A spokesman from Leicestershire Police said: "We are liaising with the Portuguese police and forces in this country to see if there is anything we can do to help. But it is a Portuguese investigation and under their laws we cannot reveal any details."

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