DNA of New Zealand girl repeatedly mistaken for Madeleine McCann sent to Scotland Yard
A New Zealand girl repeatedly mistaken for missing Madeleine McCann has given police a sample of her DNA which will be sent to Scotland Yard.
The girl, who has not been named, is understood to have a similar eye defect to Madeleine, prompting members of the public to believe she is the missing child.
The DNA sample is a conclusive way of proving her identity, said Detective Senior Sergeant Kallum Croudis of Dunedin Police.
"The results of this process will not be known for some time," he told New Zealand newspaper The Southland Times.
British police requested the sample after the latest reported sighting of McCann in New Zealand, nearly six years after she went missing while holidaying with her family in Portugal at the age of three.
New Zealand Detective Sergeant Brian Camerson said then that police were 'absolutely satisfied' the child seen on New Year's Eve in the southern resort town of Queenstown was not Madeleine.
There have been several other reported sightings of Madeleine in the same southern region in recent years and police said DNA sampling was a conclusive way to establish the identity of the New Zealand girl.
"Police will be sending a DNA profile to British police . . . to confirm the identity of a girl who has been mistaken for Madeleine by a member of the public," said DSS Croudis.
The Queenstown shop attendant who reported the possible sighting of Madeleine said a girl closely resembling the missing youngster entered her store with a dark-haired man on December 31.
"She had the same eye defect as Madeleine. Only a very small percentage of the population have that and I was just staring at it the whole time to the point I forgot what they had purchased," she said.