VITAL new witness in the hunt for
has told cops: 'I saw Maddie. I know it was her'
saw the unique blemish in her eye.'
Francis is certain he spotted the missing
five-year-old in Venezuela just WEEKS ago. Because
of the remarkable eye detail,
Gerry and Kate McCann
regard this as one of the most significant
Trevor, who swears
he spotted Madeleine McCann in the Caribbean just
weeks ago, has told of the haunting moment he saw
the tell-tale blemish in her eye.
In a dramatic
statement to police back in the UK yacht skipper
Trevor Francis, 64, said the girl was with three
women in a restaurant on the Venezuelan island of
I'M CERTAIN: Witness Trevor
He recalled: 'Her
eyes met mine as I walked past and that's when I saw
the little blemish in her right eye'it was like a
And he added: 'I
wanted to grab her or shout out her name and see
what reaction I would get.
'But I was afraid
to do anything and cause a scene. . . a huge ruckus
would have erupted and it could have made things
'I decided to get
a good look to make sure it was her so I could come
back to England and report it.'
Unlike all other
reported sightings, fresh witness Trevor is the
FIRST to get a clear view of the unique blemish
matching Madeleine's eye.
Clarence Mitchell last night said the
detail of his description was very significant.
He added: 'The
investigation team are looking into this seriously.
The eye makes it potentially more serious than
climaxes a week in which the Portuguese police
were released, highlighting reported sightings
across the world since Madeleine went missing from
the family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz a
year ago. Many have already been discredited or
But now the
are making urgent
enquiries into the Margarita connection. Caribbean
islands are on a regular sailing route from Portugal
Divorced dad of
two Mr Francis, 64, built and owns a nursing home in
Worthing, West Sussex, but spends most of his time
on his five-bedroom yacht Northern Seas based in
On a recent trip
home to check on business interests he made a
detailed hand-written statement to Sussex cops
revealing he's certain he saw Madeleine on May 16
this year in the Lugar de Equenter restaurant in the
town of Porlamar.
'I was in there
having some lunch,' said Trevor. 'There was lots of
light and nothing to obstruct my view.
'The door opened
and three females with a little girl came in. They
sat down at a table opposite me about 20 feet away.
At first I did not take any notice as I was having
trouble with my order. Then I glanced back and
noticed the little girl was white with fair hair.
really stood out
sometimes white children in Venezuela but not as
fair as this child. She really stood out. I was
'She was the
absolute image of the missing Madeleine McCann with
chin-length straight fair hair, about four years
old, a pretty girl.
'What I noticed
most prominently were her eyes' they were big and
staring. I shuffled in my seat so I could see
'Madeleine' clearly. I didn't pay much attention to
the three women because I was concentrating on the
'However from what
I saw I would say that they were all of
Spanish/South American origin.
'Female '1' I can
describe as being heavily built, dark short bobbed
hair. Female '2' had bleached platinum blonde hair,
with a slim build.
'The third had
long black hair, she was heavily built. They were
late 30s to early 40s. They weren't very pretty.
They seemed to be local women as they didn't
hesitate at finding a table when they came in and
they seemed to know the waiters. One of the women
was trying to feed the girl what looked like some
sort of pasta dish.
'Although the girl
looked healthy and well cared for, she was very
sullen looking and refused to eat anything.
Something just didn't fit. She looked unhappy and
out of place.
'The women were
talking amongst themselves and at the little girl. I
couldn't understand, they were speaking in Spanish.
'The little girl
wasn't saying anything, I watched her for about
20-30 minutes and decided to get a close look as I
left the restaurant. Then I was four to five feet
That was the
dramatic moment Trevor spotted the tiny eye blemish.
He said: 'I haven't been in England for all of the
press coverage and updates about Madeleine McCann
but I have seen photos of her on the news. From what
I saw that day I am about 85 per cent certain that
it was in fact Madeleine McCann.'
The eye blemish '
often referred to as the 'mark of Madeleine''has
formed a key part in the campaign to highlight her
disappearance. It is played up prominently on
posters and videos. It is actually what doctors call
a coloboma'or defect'of the iris. Figures suggest it
occurs in only about 0.007 per cent of the
son Ben, 22, of Worthing told us last night: 'My dad
is a very serious, credible and intelligent man.
He's not the sort of person who would make things
up. And he'd certainly never lie about something
of specialist police were drafted into Brussels
yesterday after a bank security guard reported he
saw a girl resembling her on Monday. He spoke out
after case files revealed Scotland Yard had warned
the child could have been stolen to order for a
Belgian paedophile gang.
studied the CCTV pictures from the KBC bank in the
rundown immigrant Molenbeek district, other officers
trained in search techniques joined the hunt.
A spokesman said:
'We're taking this very seriously. House-to-house
searches have started, and numerous people are being
spoken to. We're determined to establish exactly who
the little girl in the CCTV images is.'