Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

New Zealand girl is not Madeleine

Madeleince McCann went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007

DNA tests have confirmed that a girl mistakenly identified in New Zealand as missing youngster Madeleine McCann is not her, police said.

Officers in England requested a DNA sample from the girl after there were reports that she could be Madeleine. But tests proved it was not her, New Zealand police said.

Detective Inspector Steve McGregor said: "We have received confirmation from Scotland Yard that a DNA sample provided voluntarily from a girl mistaken as missing British girl Madeleine McCann on New Year's Eve in Queenstown last year does not provide a match for that of the missing girl.

"At the time of the sighting police made thorough inquiries into the sighting and were completely satisfied that the girl was not Madeleine McCann."

A Scotland Yard spokesman confirmed that following the DNA submission police were "satisfied" that the girl identified in New Zealand was not Madeleine.

The "sighting" on New Year's Eve in Queenstown, on New Zealand's South Island, was the second time the girl was mistaken for Madeleine last year, the other being in March.

Madeleine was nearly four when she disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve on May 3, 2007 as her parents dined at a tapas restaurant with friends nearby.

Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, have campaigned tirelessly for information on their daughter's whereabouts, battling for a review by the Metropolitan Police, which has now been under way for more than 18 months.