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MADDIE SIGHTINGS: WE'LL KNOW IN 24 HOURS

HOMEPAGE NEWS REPORTS INDEX MADELEINE PHOTOS NEWS AUGUST 2008
Original Source: STAR TUESDAY 12 AUGUST 2008
By Jerry Lawton
12th August 2008
 

ABOVE: Missing Madeleine

MADELEINE McCann's parents could find out if she is alive in the next 24 hours.
 
They think a girl captured on CCTV cameras at a Belgian bank just a week ago could be the daughter they have not seen for 15 months.
 
Last night Kate and Gerry McCann were anxiously awaiting the opinion of US experts who were enhancing and analysing the images.
 
GP Kate and heart surgeon Gerry, both 40, called them in after deciding the girl was like Madeleine "in lots of respects".
 
Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell last night urged the North African woman seen with the girl by a bank security guard in Brussels to come forward.
 
He said: "The girl in the footage bears a resemblance to Madeleine and it is now being enhanced and analysed by our investigators.
 
"At the moment we are not ruling it in or out. The work is being done in America because they have the technological capacity to enhance the video. 
 
"They have considerable work to do but we expect an answer within the next 24 to 48 hours.
 
"Kate and Gerry are being kept fully informed."
 
Mr Mitchell added: "We are urging the woman the girl was with to make herself known to police.
 
"We can understand why the security guard called the police because the child looks similar to Madeleine in lots of respects." In the past seven days Belgian investigators have been alerted to 30 "sightings" of the then three-year-old, who vanished from her family's holiday flat in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May last year.
 
They come a week after a little blonde, blue-eyed girl was spotted pleading with an Arab woman in English to be allowed to go home outside the KBC Bank in the west of Brussels.
 
CCTV images show her walking hand-in-hand with the veiled Moroccan, in the run-down Arab-dominated Molenbeek St Jean quarter.
 
Belgian Federal Prosecutor Lieve Pellens, who is co-ordinating checks on the sightings, said: "We have received 30 new leads in the past week.
 
"Some claim to have seen Madeleine in Brussels while others have spotted her in the north of the country."
 
The new clues bring the total number of "Madeleine sightings"  in Belgium to 135.
 
Miss Pellens said every one was being thoroughly investigated by detectives from the country's Missing Persons Unit.
 
"Many people have followed the Madeleine case and everyone is desperate to help," she said.
 
"In some cases the girl who is spotted is speaking Flemish but in other instances the girl seen is speaking English.
 
"The information in each case is being checked.
 
"We are urging the woman seen in the CCTV images to come forward and tell us who the girl is."

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