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'Earlier child snatch attempt' in Algarve

Original Source:  SCOTSMAN: 25 MAY 2007
Fri 25 May 2007 JOHN BINGHAM
POLICE in Portugal have been told of an attempt to snatch a girl similar to Madeleine McCann at a cafe just half an hour from Praia Da Luz.

Five months ago, three-year-old Carolina Santos, who is blonde with blue eyes, was rescued as she was being led away from the family cafe by a man.

Her parents had left Carolina playing by the roadside in Fonte De Louseiron, a village around half an hour from Praia Da Luz.

"We were busy working in the kitchen and came out to find out she wasn't there," Abel Santos, 40, said. "I saw her some way away on the road with a man I took to be Moroccan. We started towards them shouting and Carolina stopped and turned. He disappeared around the bend."

His wife Lina, 28, added: "

She said he told her that he had another little girl for her to play with.

"There was no other girl. I was so scared. If we hadn't come out at that moment I don't know what would have happened."

They reported the incident to police but say they were told they could not make a formal complaint as no crime had been committed.

Three days ago the couple contacted police again after a Moroccan man threatened to take their daughter during a row.

Police said today that they were investigating but were not linking these incidents to Madeleine's disappearance, because there were not enough similarities.

Meanwhile the McCanns are drawing up plans to travel Europe giving interviews. Gerry McCann said: "We need to start finalising our plans for interviews in areas of Europe where the coverage of Madeleine's disappearance has been limited."

The couple also released the last picture taken of Madeleine before she vanished.


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