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Nightmare as girl abducted; KIDNAP: Three-year-old Madeleine taken from holiday hotel room.

Byline: By John Bingham

A THREE-YEAR-OLD Midland girl has been abducted from her hotel room while on a family holiday in Portugal.

Portuguese police are investigating the disappearance from a holiday complex in Praia da Luz in the western Algarve.

A Foreign Office spokesman said that he understood the girl's parents, from Leicester, had gone to have dinner once their children were asleep last night, but returned to check on them only to find the girl had gone missing.

"They reported it straight away," he said, adding that consular assistance was being offered. The spokesman said he understood that local police have been called in and criminal investigation police are now investigating. Jill Renwick, a family friend, said the parents were certain that the girl, whom she named as Madeleine MCann, had been abducted.

"They were just watching the hotel room and going back every half-hour and the shutters had been broken open and they had gone into the room and taken Madeleine,"

she said.

"They went out about eight, went back in at nine, they were fine, went back in at 10 and she was gone."

She described the missing girl as a "very pretty, very blonde three-year-old". Ms Renwick said that the parents were on a Mark Warner holiday.

"This is the first time they have done this.

They are very, very anxious parents and very careful and they chose Mark Warner because it is a family-friendly resort." She said the couple also had twins.

The family were thought to have been staying at seaside resort the Ocean Club.

The club is in the village of Praia Da Luz and consists of individual villa-style accommodation mixed with small bars, restaurants, cafes, boutiques and shops.

The resort has three private areas with their own pool, bar and cafe or restaurant, and is close to the sandy beach where hundreds of tourists descend each year.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:May 4, 2007
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