Madeleine McCann investigators probe 'sighting' in India

Thursday, July 28, 2011

By Richard Hartley-parkinson

Madeleine McCann (left) shortly before her fourth birthday and (right) how investigators believe she might have looked aged six. Madeline would now be aged eight

Investigators searching for Madeleine McCann are examining a report from India that a young girl matching her description was spotted in the market of a Himalayan city.

The Chandigarh Tribune said that a British woman had seen a youngster bearing a remarkable likeness to Madeleine who disappeared four years ago. She would now be eight years old.

Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Madeleine’s parents Gerry and Kate McCann, said: 'Our private investigators are aware of the reports from India over the weekend about a possible sighting of Madeleine.

'We are liaising with the Indian authorities over the incident and await the results of the DNA test.'

The town of Leh in northern India where the youngster may have been spotted

The sighting was made in the northern city of Leh which lies in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It’s the northernmost state of India and is situated mostly in the Himalayas.

The report in the Tribune said a British woman raised concerns with other tourists that they had found the missing girl.

At one point an American man is said to have tried to take the girl from the couple.
However the French woman and her Belgian husband, who had their passports copied by Leh Police, insist that they are the parents of the girl.

A spokesman for Leh police told the Chandigarh Tribune in India: 'It all depends upon the evidence like DNA for which help from Madeleine's parents and the British police was required.'

Madeleine was days short of her fourth birthday when she went missing on a family holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.

Maddie's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann marked the fourth anniversary of their daughter's disappearance privately with family and friends.

They recently launched a book about how she disappeared with proceeds from the book, entitled Madeleine, going towards the funding of their search for their daughter.

Despite a massive police investigation and huge publicity worldwide, she has not been found.

The official Portuguese inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance was formally shelved in July 2008, although private detectives employed by the McCanns have continued the search.

This picture of Kate and Gerry McCann was taken two months ago. The couple marked the fourth anniversary of the disappearance of their daughter with the publication of a book written by Kate titled Madeleine, Our Daughter's Disappearance And The Continuing Search For Her

In her most recent interview, Mrs McCann said she believes the kidnapper who took Madeleine may also have drugged her other two children.

She said she had to check that twins Sean and Amelie were still breathing because they did not wake as the frantic search for the missing three-year-old began.

She also believes the man who snatched her daughter may have gone to the holiday flat the night before but fled after being disturbed.

In May this year, David Cameron asked Scotland Yard to carry out a review of the investigation to bring a 'new perspective' to the case.

But the move prompted questions about why the review could not have been carried out earlier, when evidence was fresher.

And critics will question whether there is any realistic prospect of a breakthrough in the case, which has seen no major developments since Madeleine’s disappearance on May 3, 2007.


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