These are all the Maddie McCann ‘sightings’ since she went missing in 2007
There have been reports in over 100 countries
Yesterday, it was announced a new suspect had been found in the Madeleine McCann case – 13 years after she went missing. Maddie went missing in May 2007 – she had been left sleeping in the family’s holiday apartment in the Pria da Luz area of Portugal, with her two, twin siblings. The children had been left whilst their parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, went for dinner nearby with friends. The search for Maddie quickly became the most high-profile missing person investigation in history, and there have been thousands of reported Madeleine McCann sightings.
People have been coming forward with information for years, and there have even been claims from people that think they might be her. These possible Madeleine McCann sightings have been reported all over the globe since she went missing.
How many reported Madeleine McCann sightings has there been since 2007?
There have been 8,685 potential sightings of Madeleine McCann followed up by British police, across 101 countries and territories, a Freedom of Information request by The Sun showed in October 2016. Nearly all of these ‘sightings’ resulted in no further action being taken after they were reported.
The most serious were two sightings from the night she was reported as missing, on May 3rd 2007. One was ruled out as simply being someone else with their daughter. There were six reported sightings between May 4th and 17th in Portugal, including CCTV footage showing a girl matching Madeleine’s description with two men and a woman at a petrol station in the town of Nelas, Portugal.
Where have all the reported Madeleine McCann sightings been?
There have been reported sightings of Maddie in 101 different countries in total. These are:
Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azores, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Canary Islands, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dubai, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, The Gambia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ibiza, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Madeira, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, Ukraine, USA, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela and Vietnam.
The most notable Madeleine McCann sightings in the media
A few Madeleine McCann sightings have picked up more media coverage than most, and some have even gone viral online. However, most have since been confirmed as not actually being her.
September 2007 – ‘Maddie in Morocco’
Shortly after the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, there were sightings being reported of the toddler in Morocco.
A couple on holiday in Marrakech believe they saw Madeleine at a petrol station with a man. Mari and Ray, who were tourists in the area, are interviewed about what they saw in the Netflix documentary, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
They say they saw a girl that looked like Maddie at a petrol station opposite an Ibis hotel: “She had this pretty little face and long blonde hair.
“She had a sad look on her face. She said with an accent ‘can we see Mummy now?'”, describes Mari.
They then returned home and put the television on, and saw the news about Madeleine being missing. This is when they thought the girl they had seen might have been her. They claim they rang the Spanish and Portuguese police, but neither wanted to know. The CCTV tapes from the petrol station were recorded over.
This became the first of four so called “Maddie in Morocco” sightings. Another included a Spanish tourist who claimed they saw Maddie being dragged across a street. None of these reported Madeleine McCann sightings were confirmed as actually being her.
May 2014 – At the Europa League Final
In May 2014, a picture taken from TV screens from the Europa League final between Benfica and Sevilla went viral. People on Twitter said the girl had an uncanny resemblance to Madeleine McCann, and speculated it might be her. Some said she even had Madeleine’s distinctive eye features.
Woah did anyone else just see Madeleine McCann in the stands then? pic.twitter.com/KTdjPLd41D
— Alex (@AlexJHead) May 14, 2014
Obviously, it was just the internet speculating and it was never confirmed as her.
November 2016 – The Mysterious ‘Maria’
Back in November 2016, the press were all reporting on a homeless girl named Maria. She was described as “a young homeless woman in Rome who set the internet alight” after she raised the concerns of Italian police, who thought she looked like Madeleine McCann.
— Amigo Music 🇬🇧 (@AmigoMusic) November 23, 2016
The most intriguing thing about her was that she only spoke English. She told police her name was Maria, but had no passport, ID or any other documents with her name on. She wasn’t able to be fingerprinted because she hadn’t committed any crimes, but she was photographed.
However, someone quickly came forward and said they recognised the girl as their daughter, and it was quickly established that she was not Madeleine.
2018 – The Leeds student
A Leeds student also went viral after saying she thought she was Madeleine McCann. What started as a bit of group-chat banter has now become a fully-fledged internet conspiracy theory. She claimed she shared distinguishing features with Madeleine, including the well-known green eye with a brown spot on the iris and a brown spot on her left leg.
Despite the internet hysteria, it was just a joke.