Wednesday 21 March 2018

Australian police issue statement over young girl's body found in a suitcase – and alleged links to Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann, who disappeared aged three.
Madeleine McCann, who disappeared aged three.

Kashmira Gander

Australian police officers investigating the discovery of a young girl’s body in a suitcase have stressed that it is not Madeleine McCann.

British police probing the child’s disappearance contacted Australian officials after the decomposed remains of a fair-haired girl aged between two to four were found on a roadside in Wynarka, near Adelaide, in mid-July. Officials believed the unidentified child died around eight years ago – when Madeleine disappeared.

South Australia Police has now said it has “totally excluded” Madeleine as the victim. Some 43 other missing children were also ruled out.

Detective Superintendent Des Bray said: “I can confirm that Madeleine McCann has been totally excluded as a potential victim and UK police have been advised.”

Mr Bray made the confirmation after Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens attempted to play down any perceived link between the body and Madeleine’s disappearance.

“There is absolutely no evidence at this point in time that the child is Madeleine McCann ... to suggest something like that at this point in time would purely be speculating to get attention,” he told a parliamentary estimates committee hearing.

Madeleine was three when she disappeared from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve in the summer of 2007. Her family were dining at a nearby restaurant when the toddler went missing.

The incident quickly became one of the world’s most high-profile missing person’s cases, but her whereabouts remain unclear despite numerous police investigations and the efforts of her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann.

To mark the eighth anniversary of their daughter’s disappearance, the McCanns stressed they were “more driven than ever” to find Madeleine.

Independent News Service

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News