New Zealand Girl Not Madeleine McCann, Authorities Say

A New Zealand girl is not Madeleine McCann, the girl who disappeared while on a family vacation to Portugal six years ago.

A DNA test confirmed that the New Zealand girl was not Madeleine McCann after members of the public twice mistakenly identified her as the missing British girl. After a sighting last March and another reported on New Year’s Eve, authorities decided to check into the matter, The Associated Press reported.

McCann’s disappearance gained international attention six years ago when she suddenly went missing during a family visit to Portugal. The girl was alone in a room while parents dined just feet away from the crime scene. A worldwide search ensued, with tips coming from all parts of the globe. Though Portuguese police closed the case in 2008 after failing to find any clues as to her fate, the search has still continued.

Police have continued to operate on the assumption that Madeleine McCann could still be alive.

Met Police’s Det. Ch. Insp. Andy Redwood told the BBC’s Panorama last year: “From the outset we have approached this review with a completely open mind, placing Madeleine McCann at the heart of everything we do… We are working on the basis of two possibilities here – one is that Madeleine is still alive; and the second that she is sadly dead.”

New Zealand police sent DNA samples to Scotland Yard at the request of British police still looking into McCann’s disappearance. Though no details about the girl or her family were given, authorities did announce that the girl was not Madeleine McCann.