The two authors featured in Netflix's eight part documentary 'The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann' have said they believe 'her abduction was planned'.
Husband and wife Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, who live in West Waterford, wrote a book in 2014 entitled 'Looking for Madeleine' which has gone on to be a bestseller.
Speaking on Ireland AM this morning, Anthony Summers said he believed the disappearance of the then three-year-old is down to a "planned abduction":
"The evidence says that the apartment was being watched during that week. There was a man seen standing looking up at the apartment and that there was some sort of an operation going on.
"There had been phoney charity collectors coming around to that apartment just before the McCanns and to other residents saying they were collecting for a charity orphanage …it didn’t exist…there was no such orphanage.
"Then we have the incidents of a man breaking in and interfering with little girls in the middle of the night . It seems to me that common sense would dictate that the information we have does suggest that it was a planned abduction."
Asked whether he believes Madeleine McCann is still alive, Mr Summers said he did: "In America there are some statistics on this. 40% of young children who disappear turn up dead one way or the other but 56% of them are found alive in the end and that should raise hope and does sustain the hope of the McCann’s who are still looking for their little girl."
The eight part series has divided opinion and roused speculation on what happened to Madeleine McCann, with the documentary receiving a one star review from The Guardian's Lucy Mangan, who cited it as "purely a rehashing of everything anyone who was alive at the time, or who has been of an age to understand the periodic appeals on anniversaries, birthdays and other painful dates by the McCanns for more information in the 12 years that have elapsed since, already knew".
One startling feature in the documentary was Mick Swindells' cadaver and blood sniffing dogs, who can reportedly detect the scent of a cadaver or blood, even if has been removed for some time. Both dogs alerted in the McCann's Praia da Luz apartment and the car used 25 days after Madeleine went missing as well as some personal belongings of the McCanns. Materials and fibres were gathered and sent to the Forensic Science Service (FSS) in Birmingham for testing, but John Lowe of the FSS reported the results were "too complex for meaningful interpretation/inclusion".
When questioned on whether or not Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry were innocent, Robbyn said she believed so: "We looked at the evidence, the DNA evidence, the forensic evidence, the dog search related evidence and not only did we look at it and have it freshly translated and looked at but we submitted it to experts, three separate dog handling experts in the US looked at the evidence and concurred with the opinions we were offering and the opinions that the dog evidence did not amount to evidence they were alerts, intelligence alerts.”
Both parents of Madeleine, Gerry and Kate McCann, repeatedly refused to take part in the series, with their media spokesman Clarence Mitchell telling ITV news: "In this case, Netflix approached them several times, and their family and friends, myself included, and they felt it wasn't going to be helpful. They still feel it won't be helpful, and as you've said, it could actually hinder the investigation."