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Search for Madeleine McCann focuses on Australia

This is the face of the 'Victoria Beckham lookalike' who private detectives hired by Madeleine McCann's parents want to trace.
This is the face of the 'Victoria Beckham lookalike' who private detectives hired by Madeleine McCann's parents want to trace.
This illustration released Friday, May 1, 2009 by Harpo Productions Inc., shows a photo, left, and an age-progressed image, right, of Madeleine McCann, the British toddler who was 4 when she disappeared from a hotel room in Portugal on May 3, 2007. The age-progressed image, created by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, depicts what Madeleine may look like at age 6. Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann taped an interview with Oprah Winfrey on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in Chicago on April 24, 2009. The exclusive interview is scheduled to air in the United States on Monday, May 4 and in the United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 5. (AP Photo/Harpo Productions Inc., National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) **NO SALES**
The dramatic difference between the known picture of Madeleine McCann, aged 3, and how she may look now, two years later
Madeleine McCann
Still taken from video of Madeleine McCann
Still taken from video of Madeleine McCann
Still taken from undated Madeleine Fund handout video of Madeleine McCann
Gerry McCann and his wife, Kate
Madeleine McCann
Kate and Gerry McCann, parents of missing toddler Madeleine, walk to mass y at their local Catholic church, the Sacred Heart in Rothley, England
Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann
Kate and Gerry McCann as they give a statement at the Rothley Court Hotel, in Rothley, Leicestershire after they were formally cleared by the Portuguese authorities of involvement in their daughter Madeleine's disappearance .
Madeleine McCann
Kate and Gerry McCann, with twins Sean and Amelie, arrive at East Midlands airport, England

The search for Madeleine McCann is now focused on Australia after police there said a woman came forward claiming to know someone being sought by private detectives.

Investigators for the family want to trace a Victoria Beckham lookalike who asked a witness at a Spanish marina if he was there to deliver her “new daughter”, just days after the little girl's disappearance.

The well-dressed woman was described as possibly having an Australian accent and appeared agitated.

A spokesman for the New South Wales Police Force said yesterday: “Detectives have received information about a woman who is similar in description of the woman being sought by private investigators examining the disappearance of British child Madeleine McCann.

“This afternoon, a Sydney woman provided a formal statement to detectives at a Sydney police station.

“She claims to know the identity of the woman being sought by the private investigators attached to the McCann family.”

The McCann family's private detectives are following up more than 600 calls and emails, including many which investigators describe as “viable leads”, spokesman Clarence Mitchell said yesterday.

Asked about reported attempts to trace a motor boat said to have been in the marina in Barcelona at around the time the woman was sighted, he said: “The investigators will follow the evidence wherever it takes them. Vessel movements are just one area of the current inquiry.”

Mr Mitchell added that many of the callers had passed information directly to the police in Australia and he was aware of reports that a woman in Sydney had given police a formal statement saying she knew the identity of the woman.

Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3, 2007 while her parents dined with friends nearby.

Just over 72 hours later, in the early hours of May 7, two British men saw the woman being sought while on a night out in the popular Port Olimpic Marina in Barcelona.

After speaking to one of the witnesses the woman went into a bar next door, where she had a heated conversation with a local in what seemed to be fluent Spanish.

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