Could this photo - taken just a few weeks ago - be missing Madeleine McCann?
A PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN from a distance of a girl in Morocco with similar features to Madeleine McCann was published last night, generating new impetus in the search for her.
The photograph was taken on 31 August by a Spanish tourist and handed to the McCanns' lawyers yesterday morning, prompting Gerry and Kate McCann to call for a full investigation.
The picture shows a young fair-skinned, blonde girl being carried on a Moroccan woman's back near the northern town of Zinat. It is the fourth reported sighting of a girl fitting Madeleine's description in Morocco since she disappeared on 3 May, but the first published picture.
Clara Torres, who took the photograph, said: 'We were going from Chaouen to Tetuan and I was taking photos of everything we saw, and as soon as I took this photo we were struck by the little girl, who was very blonde.'
She added: 'When we downloaded the photo and saw it, we realised yes, it could be her. It sent shivers down my spine. Although it's not 100% certain, there's a strong possibility it could be Madeleine.'
Clarence Mitchell, a spokesman for the McCanns said: 'The picture poses serious questions. Kate and Gerry are naturally keen for it to be thoroughly investigated as quickly as possible.'
The photograph is now expected to be analysed by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre using face-mapping technology.
A spokesman for the Spanish government said last night: 'The police are taking the claim seriously enough to have sent it on to their colleagues at Interpol.'
Marie Claire Newsletter
Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
The leading destination for fashion, beauty, shopping and finger-on-the-pulse views on the latest issues. Marie Claire's travel content helps you delight in discovering new destinations around the globe, offering a unique – and sometimes unchartered – travel experience. From new hotel openings to the destinations tipped to take over our travel calendars, this iconic name has it covered.
Taylor Swift reveals when she actually started dating Travis Kelce - and why she's refusing to hide their relationship
She's opening up about it *all*
By Jadie Troy-Pryde
Forget the South of France in summer, winter’s the time to go
By Penny Goldstone
The biggest dating trends for 2024 might just get you back on the apps
Feeling jaded by modern dating? Take a look at this
By Lauren Hughes