30/10/2007

Kidnap Child Isn't Maddie

There's fresh hope in the hunt for missing Madeleine as private investigators searching for her are said to have found a similar blonde girl who had been kidnapped by a Moroccan family.

While the child is not Madeleine, sources inside Spanish detective agency Metodo 3, hired by the McCanns, reportedly said Interpol is investigating the discovery of the girl living in the Rif mountains, the area where they were searching for Madeleine.

An insider said: "She was not Madeleine but she was an English speaker, possibly an American," adding: "It's entirely feasible that Madeleine could be in a similar situation."

Meanwhile, distraught parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, who have been on unpaid leave since their daughter Madeleine disappeared on holiday in Portugal nearly six months ago have revealed how they had been forced to use some of the money from the campaign to find her to pay their two instalments of their mortgage.

Mr and Mrs McCann's spokesman confirmed that money sent to help their efforts to find their missing daughter had been used for their housing costs.

Clarence Mitchell said: "The fund has always had the ability to assist the family financially if necessary, and they've only used it to pay for two mortgage payments, earlier this year.

"When they were made arguido (suspects), it stopped, which was a mutual decision on the part of the fund and the McCanns - they were happy to accept that their changed status meant they were no longer entitled to that assistance."

Meanwhile, Mr McCann, 39, is due to return to work as a consultant cardiologist at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital on Thursday.

It is understood he will initially work three half-days a week and will not have any direct contact with patients until his employers believe he is ready.

He and his wife, who is a GP and also 39, have been on unpaid leave from their jobs since Madeleine disappeared on May 3. The McCanns have said they will be marking the six-month milestone "very quietly".

(BMcC)

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