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Madeleine search in Britain denied

Original Source: HORNCASTLE NEWS: 20 MAY 2007
Published Date: 20 May 2007
Location: The Press Association Newsdesk

British police denied that Portuguese officers investigating the disappearance of four-year-old Madeleine McCann were "searching" in England.

A source close to the Portuguese police investigation said earlier that officers from the Policia Judiciaria (PJ) had travelled to Britain and were this weekend searching for evidence.

But a British police spokeswoman clarified that the sole PJ officer who had been sent to Britain was only acting as a liaison point in the Leicester incident room.

She denied that Portuguese police were carrying out "searches" in Britain and said she was not aware of any plans to sent a larger team of PJ officers to Britain.

At least one of the searches in Portugal involved a police diver, but it is believed that nothing was found.

Details have emerged of a sighting of a young girl matching Madeleine's description in Morocco last week. But the Portuguese source said reported sightings of Madeleine in North Africa had been investigated without success.

He said that the size of the rewards on offer for information about Madeleine's disappearance - totalling over 2.5 million - had hampered the police investigation.

He said: "If you have very much money to give about the abduction of a child, you have more sources and you have more people who go to you and say, 'I have seen the girl'. So the police must go there and confirm or deny the suspect."

It is 16 days since Madeleine was abducted as she slept in her bed in her parents' holiday apartment in the seaside village of Praia da Luz, Portugal.

More than 75 million people around the world have expressed their support for Madeleine's family by visiting their official website.


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