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DNA from a New Zealand girl bearing a striking resemblance to missing British youngster Madeleine McCann confirms she is not the child who disappeared in 2007, police said on Wednesday.
British authorities asked for the sample after the latest reported sighting of McCann in New Zealand, nearly six years after she went missing while holidaying with her family in Portugal at the age of three.
New Zealand police said they had been contacted twice by people convinced the child was McCann, first in March last year and again on New Year's Eve, when she was spotted in the southern resort town of Queenstown.
They investigated the first sighting and were “absolutely satisfied” it was not the missing girl but obtained a DNA sample after a request from Operation Grange, the British police task force investigating the disappearance.
Police said the New Zealand child's family provided the sample voluntarily and the DNA “does not provide a match for that of the missing girl”.
“Given that there is conclusive evidence that their daughter is not Madeleine McCann and has no connection to Madeleine McCann, it is only right that she and her family are entitled to a level of privacy that most of us enjoy,” they said. - Sapa-AFP