McCanns In 'Victoria Beckham Lookalike' Hunt

9:17am UK, Thursday August 06, 2009

Martin Brunt, crime correspondent

Detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are hunting a "Victoria Beckham lookalike" with an Australian or New Zealand accent.

She was reportedly seen by two British men in Barcelona in Spain three days after the little girl went missing from Praia da Luz in Portugal.

The woman said something to one of the men which convinced the McCanns' private investigators she might have information about Madeleine, the Australian newspaper reported.

Details of the new suspect will be revealed later today.

An e-fit image of the suspect is expected to be issued by David Edgar, the retired detective who now leads the search for the missing girl.

Mr Edgar will give details of the development and an update on the investigation at a press conference in London.

Watch the press conference live on the Sky News website at 11am.

It is understood the new information could take investigators far from Portugal where Madeleine vanished in May, 2007, days before her fourth birthday.

A source said: "We need the public's help in finding this particular individual. The incident described by the new witness is potentially significant."

Madeleine's parents Gerry and Kate have organised the hunt for their daughter after Portuguese police closed the official investigation last summer because it had produced no leads.

Earlier this year the Madeleine investigators tried to talk to Raymond Hewlett, a convicted paedophile who was living near the resort of Praia da Luz when she disappeared.

He refused to see them and denied any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance.

Her family believe she is still alive and have issued an image of how their daughter might look now.

Victoria Beckham in the line-up of suspects on Sky News


Australian Federal Police spokeswoman said today: "We haven't received a request for any assistance, so at this stage we are not investigating any of the allegations made ... this morning."