Private investigators have taken their search for missing Madeleine to Australia to question a woman seen in Spain three days after the British girl vanished from her family's rented holiday apartment in Portugal on May 3, 2007.
Investigators hired by Madeleine's parents say the mystery woman had a late-night chat with two British men outside a bar in Barcelona and said something that suggested she knew about the fate of the then three-year-old.
The woman is described as "a bit of a Victoria Beckham look-alike" in her early 30s, about 158cm tall, slim and with short brown hair, The Australian reports.
One of the two British men says the woman spoke with an Australian or New Zealand accent while the other described her voice as Australian.
She is also said to speak excellent Spanish.
One of the two English witnesses says he first noticed the woman walking up and down in an agitated state outside a restaurant bar in a popular Barcelona nightspot about 2am on May 7, 2007.
She reportedly was well-dressed and appeared to be waiting for someone.
The witness, 41, approached her and had a short conversation in which she apparently thought he was the person she was waiting to meet.
Before realising he was not that man, she said something "highly significant" which had led detectives to believe the woman has information about Madeleine.
The second witness noticed the woman when she sat down at another bar nearby, where she appeared to speak fluent Spanish, possibly Catalan.
The woman was last seen walking towards a local hospital and the more distant ferry terminals.
Investigators hired by Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann are expected to hold a press conference in London to release images of the woman being sought.
The McCanns believe Madeleine is alive and can be found.
The AFP said the case is not being followed up locally.
Portuguese police closed their investigation a year ago.
source: 9News, 06.08.2009