DNA Taken From Madeleine McCann Lookalike

After sightings reported in New Zealand

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 7, 2013 9:07 AM CST | Updated Feb 7, 2013 11:17 AM CST

(Newser) – For the second time since Madeleine McCann went missing, the DNA of a lookalike is to be tested. New Zealand police insist that a girl spotted in Queenstown is absolutely not the same child who vanished in 2007. Still, they say that they've complied with Scotland Yard's request and have taken a sample of the girl's DNA, which will take weeks to conclusively test. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a New Year's Eve sighting of the child spurred a five-day police probe, which concluded with them announcing that they were "absolutely satisfied" that she is not Madeleine. But some aren't so sure: The child is reported to have a coloboma of the iris, the same rare eye defect Madeleine has, reports Time.

It is found in only about 0.007% of people, reports TVNZ, and it was enough to catch the eye of the shop owner who reported the sighting to police. "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. The Daily Beast notes that New Zealand police have been alerted to the presence of the lookalike five times over the last five years.

This March 2007 file photo released by the McCann family Friday, May 4, 2007, shows 3-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann.   (AP Photo/McCann Family, File)
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