From: Reuters
Published February 21, 2008 07:16 AM

French police dismiss Madeleine sighting

TOULOUSE, France (Reuters) - A child spotted outside a restaurant in the south of France by a Dutch tourist was not missing Madeleine McCann, French police said on Thursday.

The tourist contacted police after she saw a girl resembling Madeleine in a restaurant parking lot near the Mediterranean port city of Sete last Friday.

A Sky News report said the girl had been seen with a man and attracted the tourist's attention when she appeared to be dancing to music from a mobile phone.

But a police source in Montpellier reached by telephone said that after studying CCTV footage from the roadside restaurant they had concluded it was not the missing British girl.

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"We checked the tapes and confirm that it is not her," said the source, who did not wish to be named.

Local French police were in touch with their counterparts in Britain and Portugal and would send on the CCTV tapes.

Madeleine was left asleep with her younger brother and sister in the family holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, just days before her fourth birthday.

Her parents say she was abducted from the apartment while they had dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant.

Authorities have investigated a number of possible sightings of Madeleine -- from Morocco to Argentina -- during the 10-month long investigation but have so far produced no concrete results.

(Reporting by Nicolas Fichot; Writing by Richard Balmforth)

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