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Original Source: EXPRESS: SUNDAY 05 JULY 2009
Sunday July 5,2009 By Hilary Douglas
MISSING: Madeleine McCann
 GIRL found alive after being kidnapped six years ago has given hope to Gerry and Kate McCann in their anguish for missing daughter Madeleine.

Police found the girl, now eight years old, after a nightmare battle by her distraught parents.

Like the McCanns, they had never given up the search for their missing daughter.

And also similar to Madeleine’s disappearance, Monica Serrano, then 18 months old, was snatched from her family as she slept.

She was staying at her grandmother’s house in the town of Arraigan in Panama when she went missing on February 8, 2003.

Last night Interpol detectives were carrying out DNA tests to confirm that the little girl now known as Angelis Mitre Castillo is Monica.

She had been living in Guayaquil in Ecuador for some years before police were tipped off that she looked identical to the girl who was kidnapped.

Monica, and as she is today

Last night the McCanns’ spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said: “This gives Kate and Gerry hope. But they will never ever be satisfied until their daughter is found safe and well.

“It shows that investigators and Interpol can play an important part in finding missing children, but hopefully it will not take nearly this long to find Madeleine.”

Just like the McCanns, the Serrano family have fought desperately to find their daughter and struggled to keep the story alive, with regular updates on how she would look as she grew up.

According to the Ecuadorian daily paper Expreso, Ecuadorian authorities said that a woman called Maria del Carmen Medina Reyes brought little “Angelis” to Ecuador, then travelled to Spain having left the child with another women, Matilde Ronquillo.

Police learned two months ago that the child was in Guayaquil, Ecuador, with Oredai Nieto Reyes, sister of Maria, and who had originally turned up with the child out of the blue. “She told us that the girl had been gifted to her,” said Nieto Reyes in her declaration to prosecutor Rene Astudio Orellana.

Reyes admitted that she registered the child irregularly as an Ecuadorian with the help of a lawyer and that the child has lived in south Guayaquil since then.

“I thought nothing would happen seeing as I’ve never been involved in these cases,” Nieto Reyes said before police officers and the prosecutor.

According to a local news agency, the woman is now detained by the police. The dramatic rescue began last January when Interpol in Panama was contacted by a mystery woman saying she had seen a little girl in Ecuador who looked amazingly like missing Monica. She had recently seen a newspaper report on the story of the family’s torment over their missing daughter.


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