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Girl on CCTV is not Madeleine, police confirm

A young girl resembling Madeleine McCann captured on CCTV film in a New Zealand shop is not the missing girl, police said today.

Officers in the country said they had identified the girl in the image.

A statement from New Zealand's National Police headquarters said: "Police have identified the child and family thought by a retail assistant to be missing Madeleine McCann.

"She is not the missing British girl."

The CCTV footage was taken in a Dunedin shop in December 2007, and showed a child hand-in-hand with a stout man wearing a white T-shirt and black shorts.

Details of the incident were included among 2,000 pages of previously secret case documents held by Portuguese police which were released to news-papers this week.

They contain dozens of possible sightings of Madeleine after she disappeared from her family's holiday flat in Praia da Luz, southern Portugal, in May 2007, just before her fourth birthday.

New Zealand police said previously they had investigated the Dunedin image, but were unable to get any further information.

In today's update, acting Southern Police District Commander Inspector Dave Campbell said he was not going to identify the girl in the picture.

He added: "New Zealand Police are mindful of the stress on the McCann family from possible sightings of their daughter worldwide." Other leads in the newly released Portuguese police dossier include a report of a small blonde girl being dragged along the road to Faro airport in the Algarve -- an hour's drive from Praia da Luz -- on the night that Madeleine vanished.


Another details how a young girl who looked like the missing child was seen being held at gunpoint on a French motorway by a half-naked man in August 2008.

Kate and Gerry McCann's spokesman Clarence Mitchell said all the information should be released to the private detectives hired by the family.

He said: "Kate and Gerry have made it clear that they were shocked to see the lack of follow-up work done by the Portuguese police since the investigation was shelved.

"All the information in these files must go to the private investigators as they are the only people still looking for Madeleine."

The McCanns (both 41), from Rothley, Leicestershire, spoke last month of their frustration that police had failed to investigate new leads in their daughter's disappearance.

Mrs McCann said: "It's heartbreaking, to be honest."