7 Aug 2009

McCann investigation focuses on Australia

12:08 pm on 7 August 2009

The investigation into the disappearance of young British girl Madeleine McCann two years ago has moved to Australia, according to British and Australian media reports.

Four-year-old Madeleine vanished from her family's rented holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz on 3 May, 2007, while her parents dined with friends at a nearby restaurant.

A spokesperson for the family, Clarence Mitchell, was quoted on the ABC as saying a British man has told police he had a conversation with a woman in Barcelona just three days after her disappearance.

Mr Mitchell says the man thought the woman had an Australian or New Zealand accent.

Britain's Mail newspaper says a witness gave private detectives new information about an Australian man who could be linked to the young girl's disappearance, while The Sun says an Australian woman is believed to hold vital clues to Madeleine McCann's abduction.

Madeline McCann's parents Kate and Gerry McCann believe their daughter is alive and can be found unless they are shown clear evidence to the contrary. Portuguese police closed their investigation a year ago.