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McCanns seek footage of Maddie 'sighting'

  • Story Highlights
  • Parents of Madeleine McCann request to see footage of claimed sighting
  • British four-year-old possibly seen at French diner, Dutch witness claims
  • Man takes girl from restaurant after Madeleine's name called, witness says
  • French police investigated, determined sighting was not Madeleine, AP reports
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- The family of Madeleine McCann wants to see surveillance video footage from a French diner where a Dutch tourist reported seeing the missing British girl, a family spokesman said Thursday.

A handout photo, released September 16, 2007, of missing child Madeleine McCann.

Clarence Mitchell said the family was aware of reports that French police concluded the girl was not Madeleine, but he said the family wanted to hear directly from French investigators before discounting the report.

"We want to see the video of this girl," Mitchell told CNN.

"We want to hear from the French police about what they have investigated and what they have decided. This line that French police have discounted that it is Madeleine is not official so we're still waiting to hear whether French police believe this to be the case."

A Dutch tourist told authorities earlier this month that she saw Madeleine at a roadside restaurant near Montpellier, France.

On Wednesday, the Associated Press quoted an unnamed police official as saying police took the sighting seriously but determined the girl was not Madeleine.

The tourist, Melissa Fering, told Dutch television that she had a clear view of the girl and was shocked to realize she resembled Madeleine. She said the girl even had the well-publicized defect which Madeleine had in one of her eyes.

"I saw the eyes of this child and I freezed ice cold," Fering said in the interview.

Fering said she wanted to be sure the girl was Madeleine, so she approached the girl and said her name.

"When she heard her name she looked up and kept on dancing a little bit," Fering said. "There was a man in her company. ... When we called her name he quickly closed her jacket, put a cap on her head, and gone he was."

Madeleine went missing on May 3, days before her fourth birthday. Her family, who were vacationing with her in Portugal, has said she disappeared from their room at a resort while they dined in a nearby restaurant.

Despite a global search and the attention of celebrities like Virgin Chairman Richard Branson, author J.K. Rowling and soccer star David Beckham, there have been no major breaks in the case.


Portuguese investigators named the McCanns as official suspects in the case in September. The parents deny any involvement in the disappearance, saying they believe Madeleine may have been abducted by pedophiles and taken to North Africa.

There have been numerous reported sightings of Madeleine since her disappearance. Last year, a video surfaced of a Moroccan woman carrying a child that looked very similar to Madeleine on her back, but authorities determined that the little girl was the woman's child. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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