Search for new mystery woman in hunt for Madeleine McCann
The search for Madeleine McCann last night switched to Australia as detectives began hunting for a new suspect.
A witness has given Kate and Gerry McCann‘s private detectives fresh information about an Australian woman they believe could be linked to Madeleine‘s disappearance.
The investigators believe the woman is of ‘potential significance’ to their hunt and will today make a dramatic public appeal for help to find him.
In a case of mistaken identity, she is believed to have arranged to meet a man in Barcelona three days after Madeleine disappeared. But she began talking to the wrong man – and during that conversation said something that led police to believe she may have information about the case.
They are expected to release images of the woman and information about her possible link to the two-year search for Madeleine. Today Australian media reported that the woman was ‘Victoria Beckham-like’ in appearance. A police artist’s portrait based on descriptions by the witnesses shows the woman, who is estimated to be around 30 to 35 years old, with short brown hair. She is described as being short and slim.
Dave Edgar, one of two retired detectives hired by the McCanns to co-ordinate the hunt, is to due make the appeal at a press conference in London.
The British witnesses apparently said they noticed her when they were drinking in bars at a popular Barcelona marina at about 2am on May 7, 2007, just over 72 hours after Madeleine went missing from the family holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, some 13 hours drive away. She was walking up and down outside the El Ray de la Gamba restaurant bar for about 10 minutes and seemed to be waiting for someone.
McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: ‘We want the public’s help to identify someone. We are making an appeal based on new information.’
Madeleine vanished from her family’s rented holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, while her parents dined with friends at a nearby restaurant.
The McCanns, of Rothley, Leicestershire, have said they will believe Madeleine is alive and can be found unless they are shown clear evidence to the contrary. Portuguese police closed their investigation a year ago.