Bianca Jones, aged 2, disappeared in Detroit, USA, on December 2nd last year, in mysterious circumstances. Although her body has not been found, her father, D'Andre Lane, has been charged with her murder.
On Friday of last week, a judge ruled that a canine expert, whose dog detected cadaver odour in Bianca's home, can testify at the trial.
The canine expert is Martin Grime, whose investigative work with sniffer dogs Eddie and Keela figured prominently in the Madeleine McCann investigation.
Martin Grime testified on Friday that he had brought in his victim recovery dog, Morse, two days after Bianca went missing. He stated that the dog detected cadaver odour inside Lane's car, on the child's blanket and car seat and in the girl's bedroom and Lane's home.
Bianca's sister has stated that Bianca was put into her car seat, wrapped in a blanket and that she did not move.
Madeleine McCann, as most of the world knows, disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on the evening of May 3rd 2007, while her parents were dining at the Tapas Bar with 7 of their friends. Although Kate and Gerry McCann spent much of the wee small hours of that time informing friends and relations that the shutter to Madeleine's bedroom window had been 'jemmied,' and the window forced open, Portuguese police found no evidence of tampering with the shutters and no evidence of a break-in.
At the suggestion of Mark Harrison, a British investigator, who had experience of locating human bodies in war zones, Martin Grime, who was at that time working with South Yorkshire Police as a forensic canine expert, was called in with the two dogs he had trained, Eddie and Keela. Eddie was trained to detect human cadaver odour and human blood and Keela specifically to detect human blood.
Records show that the dogs alerted to human cadaver odour and blood in the McCanns' holiday apartment and in the vehicle they rented 23 days after Madeleine disappeared. Eddie, the Enhanced Victim Recovery Dog, also alerted to cadaver odour on Madeleine's soft toy, Cuddle Cat and on some of Kate McCann's clothing and on a child's T shirt. Results from forensic evidence collected from the holiday apartment and the vehicle were reported to have been inconclusive.
Without Jane Tanner's sighting, no witnesses. And no evidence of a break-in at the apartment and no credible sightings of Madeleine since she disappeared into thin air.
In the case of the disappearance of Bianca Jones, the testimony of Martin Grime is being allowed into evidence and credibility is being given to the skills and training of his canine assistant. There is no forensic evidence.
In the case of Madeleine McCann, evidence from forensic analysis is 'inconclusive,' and the work of the dogs, Eddie and Keela, is not considered to be enough to put before a court.
In the Bianca Jones case, there is a credible, in my opinion, witness, who states that she heard Bianca screaming. In the Madeleine McCann case, there is Jane Tanner, who saw a 'man carrying a bundle that could have been a child,' which developed into a child whom Tanner saw under sodium street lights wearing pink pyjamas like the ones Madeleine had been wearing when she was last seen. Not a very credible witness, in my opinion, especially as she stated that she had walked past Gerry McCann and his friend Jez Wilkins, neither of whom saw her.
The common denominator here is Martin Grime and a dog: in Detroit, Morse and in Praia da Luz, Eddie, two dogs who alerted to cadaver odour.
Perhaps if Grime's testimony is given credibility by the Detroit court and helps to convict the alleged killer, further consideration will be given to the fact that Eddie and Keela alerted only to items belonging to the McCanns and to places where they had stayed and to their hired car.
Kate and Gerry McCann may yet be called before a court of law to answer to what happened to their daughter Madeleine. Pigs might fly, you say? Maybe they will!