Panicked Pedophile Killed Maddy: Cops
Killer suffocated girl when she screamed, escaped with corpse
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2007 3:44 PM CST
Portuguese police senior detective Paulo Rebelo talks to journalists in Lisbon following a major drug bust in this file photo of Aug. 25, 2000. Rebelo, a senior criminal investigation coordinator at national...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Madeleine McCann was killed by a panicked pedophile who suffocated the 4-year-old when she screamed, then escaped with the body, Portuguese police now theorize. The U-turn in the case came after a senior detective took over the investigation, according to the Portuguese newspaper Publico,  and it would exonerate Maddy's parents, the Telegraph reports.

According to the new theory, imagined in detail in a macabre reenactment in Publico,  Maddy was already dead when she was seen in the arms of a man leaving the resort where the family was staying. A friend of her parents tells the Daily Mail the theory is "ludicrous. If a pedophile had killed her in the apartment he would have left her there and fled."