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WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO FRANCINE?

PUBLISHED: 13:57 09 November 2007 | UPDATED: 08:54 21 July 2010

Evelyn Campbell

Evelyn Campbell

A GRIEVING family are claiming their suspicions that a loved one was murdered in a Portuguese airport have been ignored by the country s police...

Francine Campbell

A GRIEVING family are claiming their suspicions that a loved one was murdered in a Portuguese airport have been ignored by the country's police.

In a climate in which Portuguese cops have been heavily criticised for the way they have handled the case of missing Madeleine McCann, the Stoke Newington-based relatives of Francine Campbell have slammed the police for dismissing their murder theory.

They claim that instead the police have concluded that the 29-year-old musician took her own life when she was found hanging in a toilet cubicle in August.

Her mother and sister vehemently believe the mother-of-one may have been strangled.

After months of pleading for answers from the authorities, Evelyn Campbell and her daughter, Joanne, have chosen to speak out about their plight.

Mrs Campbell, a mother-of-10, said: "There is no way my daughter would kill her self. She had everything to live for. She had a daughter and a husband she adored, and she was excited about her 30th birthday party which she had been planning.

"If she was going to kill herself, why would she choose a toilet in a strange country? We believe she was strangled, but the Portuguese police are saying she used a scarf to hang herself. My daughter never wore scarves."

Francine was due to board a connecting flight to the UK from Lisbon airport as part of a return journey from Brazil where she had taken part in a concert.

Her sister claims she was in high spirits at the time and was looking forward to seeing her 13-year-old daughter.

Miss Campbell said: "We can understand what the McCanns are going through. The Portuguese police have been so unhelpful from the start.

"They refuse to answer any of our questions and the only paperwork that they have sent us is in Portuguese. We managed to have it translated, but it fails to explain the circumstances in which Francine died.

"There is no way Francine would kill herself."

In a further twist, the family are keen to track down a man they believe may hold vital information.

Miss Campbell said: "After Francine died, a man called Michael with an African accent called me claiming to be her boyfriend.

"When I told him she had died, he wasn't very sympathetic. Instead he said I was lying about her death because she owed him money.

"I have spoken to Francine's daughter and she confirmed that a man called Michael did take her to the airport. It's all strange. I need to track this man down."

After fruitless attempts to get answers from the authorities, the family are pinning their hopes on Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP, Diane Abbott.

Miss Campbell said: "Hopefully, she can get answers we can't. Even the coroner is frustrated because she can't get answers. We need to know what really happened to Francine.

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