PRAIA DA LUZ, Portugal – A British couple named as suspects in the disappearance of their 4-year-old daughter in Portugal are to return home today, a family spokeswoman said.
Kate and Gerry McCann have strenuously professed their innocence since police declared them formal suspects Friday following hours of grueling interrogation.
The couple are leaving “with the full knowledge of the Portuguese authorities and police,” family spokeswoman Justine McGuinness said.
She said the couple planned to catch a morning flight at Faro airport in southern Portugal to East Midlands, Britain. She did not provide further details.
Several friends and spokespeople for the McCanns had said Saturday that they wanted to leave Portugal but did not want to appear to be running from justice.
Gerry McCann said in a newspaper interview he was concerned their treatment indicates Portuguese police are under intense pressure to solve the case.
“We thought we were in our worst nightmare but now it just keeps getting worse and worse,” Gerry McCann was quoted as saying in an interview with the Sunday newspaper the News of the World.
“… We’re desperate to get back for the kids’ sake and emotional reasons,” he was quoted as saying. “It’s not that we’re running away.”