|Leh, Fort Road by mnroper | All Rights Reserved|
The infamous case had hogged limelight when Madeleine disappeared in May 2007 while she was holidaying with her parents and siblings in the Algarve region of Portugal. The minor girl went missing from an apartment a few days before her fourth birthday and has still not been found. According to the Wikipedia and various web portals, Madeline’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann had stated that they had left the children unsupervised in the ground floor bedroom while they were at a restaurant about 120 metres away.
Last night, a British woman saw a French woman with her Belgian husband roaming in the market with a girl who looked like Madeleine. She immediately informed the British police and the Leh police. The local police has taken the passports of the suspects for verification.
The missing girl’s parents have set up a website where they have put up her pictures that were taken in 2007 and also pictures of how she would look like as she would grow up.
As the British woman shared her suspicions with few others and took a picture of the girl, an American youth -- who was also following the couple -- tried to take away the girl from them. He later told the police that he suspected the girl to be Madeleine. Another American woman also shared the suspicion.
The French woman, however, rubbished their claims, saying that she and her husband were the biological parents of the girl.
A local police official said there was worldwide alert for Madeleine and it would be a great honour for the Leh police to find the missing girl. “However, it all depends upon the evidence like DNA for which help from Madeleine’s parents and the British police was required.”
in Chandigarh Tribune, July 23, 2011
News.au: The false Maddie sighting began when a woman notified police after she spotted a little girl getting off a train from Wollongong at Central station holding the hand of a "French-speaking man dressed in black" about 11am. (---)
Goldcoast.au: POLICE investigated a possible sighting of the missing British girl Madeleine McCann near Byron Bay yesterday after a person reportedly mentioned to an officer they saw a child who resembled the missing girl near Suffolk Park. The sighting was unconfirmed but police said the report was unlikely to be legitimate. A NSW police spokeswoman said it was likely Maddy sightings would increase as a result of publicity surrounding the possible Australian link to her disappearance. (...)
BBC: Detectives have issued a sketch of a Dutch man and an English woman seen with the girl in a restaurant in Tongeren on the Dutch border.Student Jolien Houbrech, 21, who works as waitress at the east Belgian town's De Pauze restaurant said she had served the couple and the girl on Saturday. Police had removed the girl's drink and taken it away for forensic tests, she said. She described the child as aged five or six with long blonde hair. Miss Houbrech said she did not have suspicions about the couple until another customer had alerted her to the girl's resemblance to Madeleine.
The Sun: A WOMAN who is convinced she saw Madeleine McCann wearing beach shoes on a city tram in Belgium told The Sun last night how cops ignored her. The sighting by supermarket buyer Line Compere came just 12 days after Maddie was snatched from her family's holiday apartment in Portugal. Line, 31, is one of THREE credible witnesses who say they saw the five-year-old in Belgium during the same period. The sightings come on top of three more in neighbouring Holland and fears expressed by Scotland Yard that Maddie was stolen to order by a Belgian paedophile ring. (...) The case files show a girl looking like Maddie was spotted in the Belgian town of Mouscron, near the French border, on June 2 last year. Gilles Crippiau, 33, saw her in a shop called O Cool with an English-speaking woman. He said the girl was about three with big eyes and the pale face of a tired child. He told Belgian police: "Once back home I looked at a photo of the little McCann child and I was struck by the resemblance." The files also reveal a British national saw a girl like Maddie asleep, possibly drugged, on a Brussels to Antwerp train on May 27 last year. She was with a 6ft man who carried her off at Medechen. The Sun has told this week of two sightings in Amsterdam by party goods shop worker Anna Stam, 41, and pensioner Hannie Weichmann, 71. And yesterday it emerged a man saw a little girl sitting on her own and crying in the Panorama restaurant at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport. Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Maddie's parents Kate and Gerry, said all credible leads would be quickly followed up by private detectives working for the family.(...)
Daily Mail: Maddie 'spotted in Belgian bank just FIVE days ago' - CCTV footage showing a girl similar to Madeleine McCann in a Belgian bank is being examined by police, according to reports. A security guard at the bank said she spotted the girl on Monday, with a woman of North African appearance, on CCTV images taken from a branch of KBC Bank in the west of Brussels. (...) A witness says the girl told her: 'My name is Maddie, they took me from my holiday.' Private detectives are hoping to trace the blonde woman and dark haired man. The artist's impression of the couple was based on a description by Anna Stam, who saw the group in a fancy dress shop in the Dutch capital. She told Dutch police the man seemed to be speaking Portuguese but the woman spoke English and said they ran a small circus in France. (...)
Telegraph: British tourist believes he may have seen the missing four-year-old while on a trip to the Roman Catholic shrine of Medjugorje in Bosnia ten days ago. The man from Fermanagh in Northern Ireland reportedly became suspicious after seeing a little blonde girl with a dark haired couple, who he felt could not be her parents."I'm sure that this child was not theirs and I'm convinced it could have been Madeleine," he said at the weekend. "She was very agitated and sobbing." (...)
Sunday Mirror: A child matching the four-year-old's description was spotted in the northern city of Vicuna - 6,000 miles away from where she was snatched. The little blonde girl was seen with a couple visiting the Gabriela Mistral museum, around 330 miles north of the capital Santiago. A witness told police the man resembled an artist's impression of a potential suspect released across the world last week. The witness, a 40-year-old refrigerator repair man, said both adults were speaking a foreign language - not the native Spanish - when he saw them.(...)
Croatian media: The son of the defender of the Dynamo of Zagreb, Dino Drpic, was confused with the British girl Madeleine (Maddie) McCann by a few English tourists, who wanted to take him from his mother. (...) A British girl, after seeing the fair-haired Leone Drpic, thought that it was Maddie and told her parents who also believed it was her. After taking some photos at a distance, they approached the child and tried to take Leone with them. Nives was close, but she did not realize the problem until the English woman put her arms around her son and tried to snatch him. Nives is used that the people in Croatia look at her and at her son and take photos wherever they go.
The Sun: Maddie 'seen with suspect' in Dubai - A girl looking like Maddie was spotted with a man "identical" to an artist's impression of a suspect seen close to where she vanished in Portugal in May 2007. An unnamed 35-year-old businessman told police he saw the girl with the man and two women outside a shopping mall in Dubai in November last year. He said: "The guy looked very like the suspect because he had a scary face, a moustache, and was very skinny. "The woman with him was also very thin. Behind them I saw a little girl, about seven or eight years old, with a black woman in a veil."The girl looked so similar to the younger Madeleine. She had light brown hair. But it was her nose and eyes that made me think it was the missing girl." (...)
Daily Mail: Detectives are said to be launching a major inquiry into the claim that the missing four-year-old was seen by a man in Dorset.Retired civil servant Alan Cameron alerted police after a Portuguese couple turned up at his home in the village of Stratton (...).
Fox News: Investigators had taken seriously a Dutch teenage tourist's account that she believed she had seen McCann alive at a French roadside restaurant near the city of Montpellier on Feb. 15, a police official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. After viewing closed-circuit video footage, police investigators spotted a man and a young girl who indeed resembled the British girl, but determined it was not McCann after a thorough inspection, the official said. The file has been transferred to a state prosecutor in Montpellier, the official said, declining to provide further information. On Wednesday, Dutch newspaper De Gelderlander interviewed Melissa Firing, 18, who said she was sure the girl she saw was McCann because of the way she reacted when she called out her name, and because she was able to look her in the eyes. (...)
Postchronicle: A Swiss vacationer believed he had seen Madeleine with a man in a hotel on the island of Crete. This has also proved to be a false alarm.
Times Online: A police source said: “The only report supported by evidence was made by a person who said saw Madeleine in Zejtun [in the south of Malta]. The person had enough sense to get a mobile snap shot of the girl, which resulted not being the young Maddie. Ray Roberts, 49, from Anglesey, north Wales, said that on Sunday night he saw a girl in Sliema, on the northeast coast of Malta, wearing what he said was a jet black wig as she was taken away by an Arabic looking man in his 40s and a younger woman. The man spoke to the child haltingly in English. (...)
Malta media: A second report was filed on the 17th June, when two British women claimed to have seen a girl remarkably similar to Madeleine McCann near the Floriana bus terminus. The girl was seen in company of a middle-aged woman. The two boarded a bus headed for Qawra and alit it once they reached St Paul’s Bay. Following media reports pertaining to the case which were published in the media on Thursday, Police received seven further reports of alleged sightings. Police said that the reports were given by six women, one man and an anonymous person. The person or persons allegedly accompanying the child differed in the reports. The girl was allegedly seen in Valletta, Sliema, Medina and Marsascala in the days and weeks leading up to Thursday, 21st June (...)
The Sun: 14 sightings of Maddie - Officers said the first was almost a MONTH ago, and just one of the sightings has so far been ruled out.Their probe began when a Maltese woman contacted them on May 27, convinced she had seen four-year-old Maddie with a man in the capital Valletta. (...)Swiss authorities launched a huge search at Geneva airport yesterday after two separate sightings of a child resembling Maddie. The search was eventually called off after two hours, and pilots and arrival airports were alerted to check all passengers. (...)
The Sun: AN investigator hired by Madeleine McCann's parents vowed last night: "I'll find her in five months."
Francisco Marco said Maddie, four, is alive in MOROCCO and revealed he has already bought dolls to give her when she is rescued. Marco, 35, declared: "I will take them out of the suitcase the day I find Madeleine." (...)
NY Post: The picture -- taken on Aug. 31 in the town of Zinat by a Spanish tourist -- shows a blonde child strapped to the back of a local woman. The girl in the image is named Bushra Binhisa and comes from a village in the Rif mountains in northern Morocco where her family have lived and farmed several generations, the Daily Mail reported. Tourist Clara Torres, who took the picture, said that when she later compared it to a photo of Madeleine, "We realized yes, it could be her. It sent shivers down my spine. (...)
Sunday Herald: Portuguese detectives are liaising with Interpol after a Norwegian woman told newspapers she saw a "sad" looking girl fitting Madeleine's description with a 35 to 40-year-old male at a petrol station on the outskirts of Marrakech. Marie Olli, 45, said the blonde girl was with an "anonymous" man who could be from Britain. She claimed the pair didn't seem related and she became suspicious when the child asked the man: "Can I see mummy soon?" However, it wasn't until she returned home to Fuengirola in Spain after the May 9 sighting, six days after Madeleine was snatched from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on the Algarve, that she saw TV coverage of her disappearance.(...)
Daily Mail: A Spanish mother told today how she is convinced she saw Madeleine McCann being dragged across a street in Morocco. The potential witness believes she spotted the missing girl with a woman in a headscarf crossing a road in the northern town of Zaio in May. She said she told her husband to stop the car. "I shouted 'Stop! It's Madeleine, the missing girl.' But by the time we pulled over and ran back to where she had crossed, they had both vanished." (...)
Daily Mail: Was this Madeleine? Revealed, the photo files Portuguese police kept secret... to the fury of the distraught McCanns - Secret files released yesterday show that Portuguese police dismissed dozens of potential sightings of Madeleine McCann. Leads from around the world - including CCTV footage from New Zealand of a child looking strikingly like the missing girl - were filed away under the heading 'not relevant'. (...)
Independent: The Ulster detective leading the search for Madeleine McCann today reveals his most chilling theories yet, exclusively to Sunday Life. Hardened ex-RUC cop Dave Edgar told us he is convinced that little Maddie is imprisoned in a hellish lair – just like kidnapped sex slave Jaycee Lee Dugard. He insisted the “back from the dead” reappearance of Jaycee – and the cases of Austrian cellar girls Elisabeth Fritzl and Natascha Kampusch – confirmed his suspicion. And despite fresh leads taking his probe to Australia and Barcelona, the east Belfast man insists the golden-haired youngster is being held just 10 miles from where she was snatched in Praia da Luz two years ago. (...)
Telegraph: A British couple claim they saw a small bundle being smuggled on a jetski and taken out to sea just a few miles from where Madeleine McCann went missing. He then appeared to take the bundle it to a small “official-looking” grey boat moored just off the coast at Salema, six miles up the coast from Praia Da Luz where Madeleine went missing last May. Despite the fact that the couple reported their sighting to the Ocean Club resort, where the McCann family had been staying, police have not yet investigated the incident or called them in to be interviewed. The witnesses, who did not want to be named, are from south-west England and were visiting relatives Patrick Matthews, 37, and his wife Eliza, 25, in Salema, near Praia da Luz. (...)
Evening Standard: A Portuguese taxi driver has told how he picked up Madeleine McCann with a blonde woman who looked like Kate McCann and three men including one who looked like suspect Robert Murat the night of her disappearance. Antonio Castela, 67, said he dropped off the missing girl and her English-speaking mystery companions at an Algarve hotel and watched them drive off in a blue jeep. (...)
Belfast Telegraph: Spanish private investigators say they are confident that Madeleine McCann was kidnapped and that the net is closing on her abductors. The investigators, who were hired by the missing British girl's parents, are currently examining an alleged sighting of the four-year-old in central Portugal two days after she disappeared. A witness claims to have seen her in a car with a woman. (...)
The Sun: Tourist Margaret Jones believes she saw the missing four-year-old at the Spanish island’s airport. She contacted Metodo 3 — the detectives hired by the McCanns — after returning home to Cardiff. The media worker, in her 60s, said: “I was sitting opposite a shop. I spotted a little girl with curly red hair with a man, who was about 5ft 10in. (...)
Liveleak: Police are investigating fresh claims that Madeleine McCann is alive and being held captive after witnesses reported seeing her being bundled into a car in Spain. Two witnesses told detectives they are "certain" they saw the missing four-year-old girl with a man who was acting strangely at a petrol station earlier this week. The sighting is a glimmer of hope for desperate parents Kate and Gerry McCann, who this week revealed that they believed their daughter was alive and being held somewhere in Spain. The two female witnesses who triggered the latest police search told officers they saw a well-built man shoving the little girl, who resembled Madeleine, into a dark green Citroen ZX hatchback. They watched as he mistreated her at a car wash at a Shell service station on a main road out of the port city of Cartagena on the country’s south-east coast. (...)
United States of America
The Sun: Madeleine McCann is in America – and I know who took her -Marcelino Italiano, 36, said she had been snatched by an Algarve-based paedophile ring. The amateur sleuth added: "They can get away with anything." Angolan-born Italiano said the gang of influential and dangerous perverts had hunted children in the Algarve before smuggling them out of Portugal. (...)The 6ft 4in nightclub bouncer said: "I know these people were involved and I have been told that Madeleine may now be in America. "I can't say how, but I have known these people and believe they can get away with anything. (...)
Still to come (or already leaked in the media, even if dismissed by various police forces)
Sky News: More reported sightings of Madeleine McCann have been documented in new files released by prosecutors in Portugal.
In a second day of revelations, there were reports of a sighting in Portugal of a girl wearing a black wig being dragged along by two gypsies 18 months after Madeleine's disappearance.
Earlier evidence was described as 'gold dust' by her parents Kate and Gerry, who hope it could lead to a breakthrough in the search for their daughter.
Speaking earlier, their spokesman, Clarence Mitchell told Sky News it was disgraceful that information about possible sightings of Madeleine has only emerged now after sitting in a box since 2008, when the case was shelved by Portuguese police*. (...) "This information is gold dust to them. Kate and Gerry need all of it and they want a full review of all the information it contains.
"Our investigators are working at times with one hand tied behind their back.
"Any leads must come through Portugal but they must come to Kate and Gerry.
"Our investigators will now work very hard and three years on it will hopefully lead to the breakthrough Kate and Gerry have been waiting for."
Sky's crime correspondent Martin Brunt said the McCanns first became aware of the file after they won a court battle to ban publication of a book that claimed their daughter was dead. (....)
*The case wasn't shelved by the Portuguese police, it's an impossibility, but hey, if you are Clarence Mitchell, or have Kate McCann's writing skills, then facts only exist to be twisted till they fit. Meanwhile, if you are taking your blonde children with you to somewhere exotic and beautiful like Leh, or anywhere else in the world for that matter - keep an eye out for those deranged child-saviours. They usually carry very distinguishable holiday merchandise.
Update: July 28, 2011 (The UK media, followed by a "carbon copy" world-media went in a frenzy over the fake sighting)
Daily Mirror: Madeleine McCann: DNA test taken from little girl in India Brit woman believes is Maddy
The parents of missing Madeleine McCann face an agonising wait for the results of a DNA test after a young girl suspected of being their daughter was spotted in India.
The girl fitting the description of Maddy, who went missing whie on a family holiday to the Algarve in Portugal in 2007, was seen by a British woman and two Americans in a market in the northern city of Leh.
The trio were so convinced it was Madeleine, who would now be eight years old, that they tried to take the girl away from the Belgian man and French woman who insist they are the child's parents.
It has also been reported that the passports of the girl's family have been confiscated by the Indian authorities until the results of the DNA test have come back.
A spokesman for Leh police said: "It all depends upon the evidence like DNA for which help from Madeleine's parents and the British police was required."
Newkerala - Kashmir police deny finding missing British girl
Srinagar, July 28 : The Jammu and Kashmir Police Thursday denied media reports that a British girl who had reportedly gone missing in Portugal four years ago was found in Leh.
Talking to some media persons here Thursday evening, Abdul Gani Mir, deputy inspector general of police (DIG), said: "We have not recovered any missing foreign girl from Leh."
"A British media report said that a girl missing for the last four years from Portugal had been sighted in Leh district of the state. We have no such confirmation from either the police or the district administration," the DIG said.
Earlier, a British newspaper report had said a four-year-old British girl, who was allegedly kidnapped while on a holiday in Portugal in 2007, has reportedly been tracked down to Leh city in India's Jammu and Kashmir state.
The report in the Daily Mail also said the parents of Madeleine McCann are, however, awaiting the results of a DNA test on the girl.
Kate and Gerry McCann's team of private investigators said they were working with Leh police who were alerted after a British woman spotted a girl she thought to be Madeleine. The abducted girl would now be eight years old.
"Madeleine was about to celebrate her fourth birthday when she went missing on a family holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007," the daily said.
"The woman who found the girl raised concerns with other tourists who agreed with her."
"An American man even reportedly tried to take the girl from the couple with whom she was."
"However, the French woman and her Belgian husband insisted they were the parents of the girl.
"Leh police have now taken swabs so that DNA tests can be carried out on the girl," the Daily Mail report had said.
Kate and Gerry McCann recently launched a book about how she disappeared. Proceeds from the book, titled "Madeleine" go towards the funding of their search for their daughter.
The official Portuguese inquiry into the girl's disappearance was formally shelved in July 2008.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has also asked Scotland Yard to carry out a review of the investigation, the Daily Mail report said.
Update: July 29, 2011
Rediff News: No missing British girl found in Leh: Police
by Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
A senior police officer has denied that any missing British girl had been recovered by them in the Leh town of cold desert region of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.
Media reports had said that Madeleine McCann, a British girl who went missing while on a holiday in Portugal in 2007 had been spotted in Leh town by a British woman.
Reports had also said that DNA confirmation would be made to ascertain the identity of the girl who had been found roaming in the Leh market with a French woman and her Belgian husband.
"We have confirmed and re-confirmed from our officers on the ground in Leh and there is no report of the missing girl having been found in the town", Mir said.
State police authorities were flooded with phone calls from journalists after the story about the missing girl having been sighted in Leh town appeared in British press on Thursday.
The case of the Madeleine McCann had hogged headlines when she disappeared while holidaying with her parents and siblings in the Algarve region of Portugal in 2007.