Was Maddie sold in Spain?

LAST UPDATED: 2 Nov, 2009 @ 19:34
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Was Maddie sold in Spain?

THE family of missing Madeleine McCann fear she could have been sold to a ‘Victoria Beckham’ lookalike in Barcelona.

A new witness has come forward revealing how a woman approached him anxiously asking him: “Have you got the child?” just three days after she went missing.

The Briton, who had been on holiday in Barcelona at the time, was asked by the frantic woman: “Have you got her? Have you got my new daughter?”.

Said to have a close likeness to former Spice Girl star Victoria Beckham (wife of footballer David Beckham), she approached the startled tourist in the Rey de la Gamba marina area of the city.

With an Australian accent, she had been walking up and down the quay getting increasingly agitated, when the Briton approached her.

Asking to see if she was OK, she straight away blurted out that she was looking for her “new child”.

The news emerged at a sensational press conference in London yesterday, where the family released a photo-fit of the suspect.

Detectives now fear that Madeleine could have taken from Portugal, where she was snatched, to Barcelona by ship.

Maddie had been on holiday with her parents in the sleepy town of Praia de Luz in May 2007, when she suddenly went missing.

“It’s a strong lead. Madeleine could have been in Barcelona by this point,” said former Detective Inspector Dave Edgar.

“The fact that the conversation took place near the marina could be significant. It is something we are looking at.”

The witness – described as a “credible” 41-year-old in a senior management job – has only just stepped forward.

He reportedly did not want his wife to think he was flirting with another girl during a weekend stag party.

‘She straight away blurted out that she was looking for her “new child”.’

Edgar explained: “He’s a credible witness. He had been drinking but was not drunk. The account he has given is precise.

“He didn’t come forward earlier for personal reasons and I am satisfied with those personal reasons.

“I think he now wishes that he had come forward sooner.”

Both Edgar and colleague ex-detective Sergeant Arthur Cowley believe Madeline may have been snatched on May 3 2007 and smuggled onto a nearby boat.

She then could have embarked on an 800-mile trip round the Iberian peninsula destined for Barcelona.

Spokesman for the McCanns, Clarence Mitchell, explained the witness had a short conversation with the suspect at 2am who later had an angry exchange in fluent Spanish with a man who knocked her seat.

“The woman was last seen walking away in the direction of a hospital and the more distant ferry and cruise ship terminals,” added Mitchell.

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