Madeleine detectives release e-fit

Private detectives hired by Madeleine McCann's parents today released an e-fit of a "Victoria Beckham lookalike" they believe may have information about the missing girl.





The woman was seen by two British men in Barcelona in Spain three days after the child went missing from Praia da Luz in Portugal.



She had a brief conversation with one of the men which suggested she might know something about what happened to Madeleine, the McCanns' investigators said.









Former detective inspector Dave Edgar, who is leading the McCanns' investigation, said it was possible that Madeleine could have been taken to Spain by sea from where she disappeared in the Algarve.

He told a press conference in central London: "Madeleine most definitely could have got from the area to Barcelona by yacht."



The British men, who were part of a larger group, saw the woman in the early hours of May 7 2007 while on a night out in Barcelona's popular Port Olimpic Marina.



The woman was well-dressed but appeared agitated and kept walking up and down outside the El Rey de la Gamba restaurant bar as if she was waiting to meet somebody, the witnesses recalled.



When one of the British men approached and spoke to her, she said something that the McCanns' team described as "potentially significant to the investigation".



Mr Edgar refused to give any details about this conversation, saying only: "She's a significant individual, I wouldn't describe her as a suspect."



After speaking to the witness, the woman - who is described as having an Australian accent - went into a bar next door and sat down on her own.



While in the bar she had a heated conversation with a local in what seemed to be fluent Spanish.



The main witness, who is a married 41-year-old professional without children, only contacted the McCanns' investigation team about six weeks ago.



Mr Edgar said that his delay in coming forward was for "personal reasons".



"We are satisfied that he is a very credible witness and the account he's given is clear and concise," he said.









The woman was last seen walking away towards a local hospital and more distant ferry and cruise ship terminals.

The main witness described her as aged 30 to 35, slim, about 5ft 2ins tall and with short brown hair.



She was wearing expensive-looking blue jeans and a jersey top, possibly in a pastel colour.



He also described her as "a bit of a Victoria Beckham lookalike".



Mr Edgar said the witness had described the e-fit - which was produced by a British police artist - as "80 per cent" accurate.



He said the man had been drinking that night but was not drunk, and the woman was sober.



The McCanns' private detectives travelled to the marina in Barcelona in search of extra information, but all CCTV footage was wiped a long time ago.



They have informed Portugal's Policia Judiciaria - who led the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance until it was shelved last year - about the new lead.



They will now liaise with the Australian Federal Police and the Spanish authorities.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
The cartoon depicts the UK (far left) walking around a Syrian child refugee
newsIn an exclusive artwork for The Independent, Ali Ferzat attacks Britain's lack of 'humanity'
Life and Style
Man taking selfie in front of car
health
Sport
footballManager attacks Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after criticism of Diego Costa's apparent stamping
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Manager - OTE £40,000

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This web-based lead generation ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Intervention Teacher Required To Start ASAP.

£125 - £150 per day + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: A 'wonderful primary ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Maths Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Our client is an 11-16 mixed commun...

Recruitment Genius: PHP / Drupal / SaaS Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly developing company in...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore