MADELEINE McCann's parents had their hopes dashed again last night after
a dramatic "sighting" in India proved to be a lookalike.
An elderly British woman and American man spotted a girl resembling
Maddie with a couple in the remote Himalayan town of Leh on Friday.
The girl was said to be the spitting image of the youngster, who would
now be eight.
In dramatic scenes, the British woman - named only as Carol - accused
the parents of having Madeleine. Her American pal even grabbed the
youngster to try to get her away from the parents.
Indian detectives arrived and confiscated passports belonging to the
mother and father, a Belgian man and French woman. DNA tests are being
carried out to establish the girl's identity.
Search ... Leh in India
But last night it emerged she is not Maddie after her parents Kate and
Gerry, both 43, of Rothley, Leics, were shown photos. Their spokesman
Clarence Mitchell said: "Kate and Gerry do not believe the child was
Madeleine. They have seen photographic evidence and concluded that it
was not her."
News of the possible breakthrough sparked a massive internet surge with
the story featuring highly on Twitter.
Blow ... Gerry and Kate McCann
A witness to the confrontation, local journalist Jupinderjit Singh,
said: "I saw a couple with a little girl walking on the road. I heard
the elderly woman, who I later found out was Carol, shouting that the
girl was Madeleine and not their daughter.
"The American guy even tried to snatch away the girl from the couple."
Mr Singh added: "She had a striking resemblance to the picture of
Madeleine before she disappeared."
Mr Singh said the girl appeared confused and the parents could offer no
proof she was their daughter, although the youngster confirmed she was.
Mr Singh went on: "She was hiding her face behind the French lady. She
could speak fluent French."
Last night a British High Commission spokesman said "Our teams in Delhi
and London are tracking this. We are keeping an eye on the issue."
Maddie was three when she vanished from her family's holiday apartment
in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.
Mr Mitchell added: "We remain grateful for people's vigilance around the
"Madeleine is still out there - and the search for her very much
Hope ... locals in Leh, India
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