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Can we go back now'

Original Source: SUN MONDAY 11 AUGUST 2008
By LUCY HAGAN in Brussels Published: Today

A LITTLE girl who cops suspect could be Madeleine McCann asked a woman she was seen walking with, 'Can we go back now'' it emerged last night.

The poignant plea in English was overheard by a bank security guard in Brussels, Belgium ' and he is convinced the kiddie was missing Maddie.


The Securitas guard became suspicious and ran out of the KBC bank branch last Monday after spotting the pair on monitors linked to CCTV cameras covering the street.


Tapes were last night being studied by police ' and footage obtained by The Sun has been passed to Maddie's parents Kate and Gerry to see if they recognise the child.


The guard told detectives the blonde blue-eyed girl looked just like Maddie, who was nearly four when she vanished from her family's holiday apartment in Portugal on May 3 last year.


She was with a woman the man did not believe was her mother because they were very unalike.

He heard the girl say: 'Can we go back now''


The dark-skinned woman, wearing a hijab head-dress, spoke in a different language, possibly broken French.

Police interviewed the guard, who speaks fluent Flemish, Dutch and English, on Thursday.

They also seized film from five closed-circuit cameras.

Footage first shows the girl being led along a quiet street named Ulensstraat, in the run- down immigrant area of Molenbeek. The pair are heading towards the Vergotedok canal.

The back view shows the mystery woman is dressed in black trousers, a white coat and a black headscarf.



The child has a fringe like Madeleine's.

She has on a white jumper with a pink waistband, a pink tartan skirt and beige boots.

The bank security guard can be seen coming out of the building. He watches them reach the end of the street and follows.

A second camera then films the pair from the front in the Avenue du Port.

The woman is North African or Arabic with thick black eyebrows. She has on a patterned black top and white shoes and appears to be pregnant.

Camera three sees them turn on to a main road. They walk slowly and stop and start. The woman briefly lets go of the girl's hand to check her mobile.

They then passed out of view of cameras ' but the guard saw them pause briefly at the canal. The woman said something and they retraced their steps.


A fourth camera shows the girl wriggle and pull at the adult's hand with both hers.

The woman crouches to speak to her. Final images show the guard watching them pass again.

The girl turns her head and takes a long look at him.

A source said: 'The guard thought something weird was going on and noted the time. When he saw a photo of Maddie next day, he was sure it was her and called the police.'

The Sun first revealed the alleged sighting on Saturday.

McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell said last night: 'We're extremely grateful to The Sun for providing the footage. It is potentially very significant.

'Kate and Gerry have seen the material. It is being enhanced as a priority in the United States.'

Brussels police decided the CCTV was a strong lead and passed it to federal cops on Friday.

Portuguese files made public last month contained 107 reports linking Maddie with Belgium and Holland.

Scotland Yard asked Belgian cops to investigate if Maddie was snatched by a paedophile ring in their country.

Kate and Gerry, both 40, of Rothley, Leics, were official suspects in Maddie's disappearance until last month but have always said she was abducted.

Camera 1 ' outside bank HQ ... CCTV camera on KBC captures blonde
white girl like Maddie led along the street by a woman in a hijab

Camera 1 ... a concerned security guard leaves bank and tails the child and adult

Camera 2 ' corner of Ave Du Port ... camera captures a frontal view of the blonde
white girl and dark-skinned woman, who appears to be pregnant

Camera 3 ' Avenue Du Port ... the woman is now filmed taking out her mobile
phone to check something as the tartan-skirted girl looks on

Camera 4 ' Avenue Du Port ... they retrace their steps and woman speaks as girl fidget

Camera 5 ' outside bank HQ ... the security guard is on camera again as he watches the mystery woman and child pass the bank a second time


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