THE parents of Madeleine McCann last night pledged to continue the
search for their daughter after they dismissed reports that she is in
Kate and Gerry McCann were anxiously awaiting the results of DNA tests
taken after claims that their missing daughter had been spotted in the
north of the subcontinent.
However, after seeing a photograph of the girl they realised she was not
The drama began last weekend when a British woman and an American man
saw a girl fitting Madeleine’s description in Leh, a city in northern
The pair were convinced they recognised the blonde youngster who was
wandering through a market place with a French woman and her Belgian
Madeleine is still out there and the search for her very
A huge commotion began as the tourists confronted the couple and tried
to wrestle the girl from them.
Police were called and the couple with the child insisted that they were
the child’s parents.
Police took their passports while an investigation was launched.
They are conducting DNA tests to see if the girl is Madeleine, who went
missing during a family holiday in Portugal in 2007.
However last night Gerry and Kate, both doctors from Rothley in
Leicestershire, said they were not hopeful the girl was their daughter.
Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “Kate and Gerry do not believe
the child seen in India was Madeleine. They have seen photographic
evidence and concluded that it was not her
“We remain grateful for people’s vigilance around the world. Madeleine
is still out there and the search for her very much continues.”
The Himalayan city of Leh is in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the
northernmost state of India.
Despite the McCanns’ statement, police there confirmed they took swabs
from the little girl.
A spokesman said: “It all depends on the evidence like DNA for which
help from Madeleine’s parents and the British police was required.”
Indian journalist Jupinderjit Singh was in a restaurant at the market
place and witnessed the drama as it unfolded.
He said: “I was waiting for my food to arrive when I heard a few foreign
tourists arguing outside.
“I saw a couple with a little girl, about six or seven years old,
walking on the road with an elderly woman and the American man.
“When I heard the elderly woman shouting that the girl was Madeleine, it
caught my attention.
“She said she was sure the little girl with the couple was Madeleine and
not their daughter. The American guy even tried to snatch the girl away
from the couple.”
Mr Singh said police were called and listened to the foreigners before
letting the couple with the child go.
He added: “The little girl was hiding her face behind the French lady.
She spoke fluent French, as I heard her speak to the lady she was with.”
Madeleine was days short of her fourth birthday when she went missing in
Praia da Luz in May 2007.
Mrs McCann, 43, recently hit out at Portuguese police for shelving the
hunt for Madeleine.
She said she and her husband, also 43, should not have been left to
carry on the search alone.
She added: “We have been very fortunate that we have had so much support
but we have had to really fight to get the help Madeleine needs most.
It’s only now, four years on, with the commitment by the Government and
the Met police to conduct a review, that the chances of Madeleine being
found are improving.”