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from da daily record5/19/07
 
MISSING Madeleine McCann may have been spotted in the Moroccan city of Marrakech.

A Norwegian tourist has told police she is 99.9% sure she saw the four-year-old girl there, wearing pyjamas.

A little blonde youngster was spotted with a man at a petrol station in the city-and was said to have looked sad as she asked him: "Can I see mummy soon?"

Visitor Marie Olli, who made the sighting, said last night: "She was a sweet, blonde-haired girl with a cute face. She was standing alone with a man about a metre from her. She looked sad and a little lost. She looked so alone.

"He ignored her and didn't hold her hand or talk to her. There was something very odd about the man.

"I have had problems sleeping ever since because I'm 99.9 per cent certain I saw Madeleine."


The youngster was snatched in Praia da Luz in the Algarve more than two weeks ago. She was on holiday with parents Kate and Glasgow-born dad Gerry.


Marrakech is just 400 miles from the Portuguese coast and easily accessible by boat. The tourist town of Lagos, just a 10-minute drive from Praia da Luz, has a huge marina and it would only take a matter of hours to reach Africa by boat.


Last week, the Record told how police hoped to extend their search to North Africa after suggestions Madeleine could have been bundled on to a boat to Morocco.


Posters pleading for information on the tot have been translated into Arabic and distributed in Marrakech.


Yesterday, the family's campaign website, www.findmadeleine.com, had received more than 58million hits.


Norwegian mum-of-two Marie, 45, lives on the Costa del Sol with her British husband and visited Marrakech last week.


She saw the girl there at about 10.20am on Wednesday May 9, at a petrol station next to the Ibis Palmeraie Hotel.


At the time, she had not heard about Madeleine's disappearance.


A man stood nearby and the girl turned to him and asked in English: "Can I see mummy soon?"


Marie said: "She looked sad. When the man saw me looking at them he turned away, so I couldn't see his face."


When she got back to Spain, she heard about Madeleine's disappearance and said she was "physically sick with shock".


On Friday May 11, she contacted Scotland Yard, Portuguese cops, Leicestershire Police and Crimestoppers.


She was told someone would get back to her but yesterday - exactly a week later - she still had had no reply.


Marie, who used to stay in Leicestershire, where the McCanns live, said: "I am very sure it was Madeleine. I think it's very strange that the police haven't contacted me again. I phoned the Spanish police about 20 times.


"We then phoned Leicestershire Police, who took my report and said it was a 'very strong observation'. But since then nobody has phoned me back."


She said the girl was wearing pale blue pyjamas with a pink and white pattern. The man was in his late 30s, had dark brown hair and wore jeans and a T-shirt. He was English-looking.


Asked about the tip, a Leicestershire Police spokeswoman said: "We are receiving a large volume of calls about Madeleine from the UK and abroad.


"We are not prepared to comment on individual lines of enquiry because we do not want to prejudice the Portuguese police operation."


Portuguese cops have named Briton Robert Murat as their only suspect in the disappearance.


Detectives there have raised doubts about his alibi - that he was having dinner with his elderly mother Jenny on the night Madeleine vanished.


His telephone records for the night of Thursday May 3 are said to show a series of calls starting at 11.40pm between him and Russian Sergey Malinka, who has been quizzed by police as a witness. Murat and Malinka both deny involvement
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