Did police miss Madeleine?

New CCTV photos lead McCanns to ask: did police miss Maddy?

New CCTV photos of a young girl who looks scarily like Madeleine McCann have been published today as her parents, Gerry and Kate, begin to question whether Portuguese police really did everything in their power to find their missing girl.

The pictures came to light as the detectives leading the case finally made their files public, while appear to reveal a number of glaring oversights.

Amongst many reported leads, which were not made public, nor shared with the McCanns, are stills, showing a Madeleine look-alike holding hands with an older woman, from a CCTV camera in a petrol station outside the holiday destination of Praia da Luz from where she was taken.

More worrying is a report from Amsterdam from a woman who claimed a young girl, who called herself Maddie, told her she had been ‘taken from my holiday’.

‘It is frustrating beyond words, and the worst thing is that all this time Madeleine has been let down by this lack of apparent co-ordination,’ said family spokesman Clarence Mitchell.

‘It is one of the mysteries of the whole thing and it is tragic that it should come this late on.’

The witness, Anna Stam, says she reported what she heard and saw in June last year, but it was never followed up by the Portuguese detectives.

‘What called my attention was the fact that she showed little or no emotion on her little face,’ Stam told Dutch police.

‘So the little girl stood before me and asked in English, “Do you know where my Mummy is?” I answered that her mother was a little further back in the shop and she answered, “She is not my Mummy.” I asked her who the woman was, and she said, “She is a stranger. She took me from my Mummy”.

‘I noticed the little girl spoke good English without an accent. Next I asked the little girl what her name was and she said, “My name is Maggie”. At least that’s what I thought she said. When I repeated it, the little girl said, “No, my name is Maddie”.

‘I still remember that because I thought it was a rare name which you didn’t often hear. ‘I then asked her where she had last seen her mother and she answered, “They took me from my holiday”.’

Mitchell adds: ‘It is harrowing to hear a child saying that. If it was Madeleine, it was a disgrace it was not passed on.

‘This is exactly the sort of primary information that we need to know if it was followed up properly by the police.’

The McCanns have not ruled out suing the police force in Portugal if evidence of incompetence can be found from the recently opened files.

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