COPY-British parents of missing 4-year-old leave Portugal - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

COPY-British parents of missing 4-year-old leave Portugal

Associated Press - September 9, 2007 5:23 AM ET

FARO, Portugal (AP) - A British couple named as suspects in the disappearance of their 4-year-old daughter are on their way home from Portugal.

Kate and Gerry McCann left on a commercial flight today after being grilled by Portuguese police about new forensic evidence which authorities think ties them to the case.

Reporters on the plane say the first two rows were reserved for the McCanns and their 2-year-old twins for the flight to Britain.

The McCanns have strenuously professed their innocence since Portuguese police last week declared them formal suspects in their daughter Madeleine's disappearance.

Family spokeswoman Justine McGuinness read out a brief statement at the airport, saying the McCanns were returning to Britain "after careful thought" and in order to give their twins a more normal life. She adds, "They played no part in the disappearance of their beloved daughter."

Portuguese police were aware of the McCann's plans.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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