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Madeleine McCann New Zealand Lookalike Facebook Post

Message circulating rapidly via Facebook claims that authorities are carrying out DNA tests on a New Zealand girl who closely resembles missing British child Madeleine McCann.

Brief Analysis
Reports that a girl in New Zealand might be Madeleine McCann were investigated by police and DNA testing was indeed carried out. However, results of the testing revealed that the New Zealand girl is NOT Madeleine. The circulating message includes an image of Madeleine taken before her disappearance along with a second computer generated image showing what Madeleine may look like now at age 9.

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they found a girl in new zealand that is reported to be identical to madeline mccan, they are doing a dna test on her now in scottland, they are exactly the same age and have a bleed in the same eye, imagine how happy the parents are going to be if its true share !

Madeline McCann New Zealand Lookalike

Madaline McCann

Detailed Analysis
A message circulating rapidly on Facebook claims that a girl found in New Zealand has been reported as being identical in appearance to missing British child Madeleine McCann. According to the message, which circulates in the form of a graphic that includes images of Madeleine, DNA testing is being carried out on the New Zealand girl in the chance that she really is the missing British child.

Authorities have indeed recently investigated reports that a young New Zealand girl may have been Madeleine. The girl is reportedly the same age as Madeleine would be now and is very similar in appearance. However, investigations have since shown that the New Zealand girl is NOT Madeleine McCann. A 13 February, 2013 Huffington Post article explains:

The nearly six-year search for Madeleine McCann must continue as DNA tests proved that a New Zealand lookalike is not long missing British girl.

McCann was 3 years old when she vanished during a family vacation in Portugal in 2007. Her parents returned from eating in a tapas restaurant with friends to their Praia da Luz rental to discover their daughter was gone.

The New Zealand girl was mistaken twice for McCann last year. On New Year's Eve, a retailer became suspicious that the child shopping with her father might be McCann, the Daily Mail reported.

A Fairfax NZ News article from the same date, further notes:

A DNA sample has confirmed that a girl mistaken as missing British girl Madeleine McCann on New Year's Eve in Queenstown was not Madeleine.

Southern police sent the DNA profile of the girl to British police carrying out a review of  Madeleine's disappearance.

Madeleine was last seen at  the Ocean Club complex in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007 just before her fourth birthday.

At the time of the mistaken Queenstown New Year's Eve sighting, thorough inquiries had been made and investigators had been completely satisfied the girl was not Madeleine, police said.

Some recipients of the above message have mistakenly concluded that the second picture depicts Madeleine's New Zealand lookalike. However, this is not the case. The picture is a computer generated image that shows what Madeleine may look like now at age 9 and was released by the police to the media in 2012.

Naturally enough the identity of the New Zealand girl has not been revealed to the public and New Zealand police have asked that the family's privacy be respected.

In fact, there have been a number of reported sightings of Madeleine in the years since her disappearance. To date, none have turned out to be valid.

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Last updated: April 16, 2013
First published: April 16, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
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