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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Assistant

£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...

Recruitment Genius: DBA Developer - SQL Server

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...

Recruitment Genius: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

Day In a Page

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

Mark Hix goes summer foraging

 A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

Aaron Ramsey interview

Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms