‘NEW MAD­DIE KID­NAP’ FEAR AS GIRL VANISHES

Maelys, 9, in wed­ding bash car rid­dle

Daily Star - - News - By JERRY LAW­TON, Chief Crime Correspondent jerry.law­ton@dai­lystar.co.uk

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MORE than 100 po­lice were last night search­ing for a suspected Mad­die-style kid­nap vic­tim who van­ished from a fam­ily wed­ding.

De­tec­tives fear nine-year-old school­girl Maelys de Araujo may have been ab­ducted.

Three snif­fer dogs which were track­ing the scent from her cud­dly toy lost the trail at the same spot in the car park of the com­mu­nity hall where the wed­ding party was held.

Of­fi­cers be­lieve that could in­di­cate that she was bun­dled into a car.

Yes­ter­day they found a hair clip and a bal­loon in a nearby for­est.

The girl’s dis­ap­pear­ance has chill­ing echoes of the un­solved case of three-yearold Madeleine McCann who van­ished from her par­ents’ hol­i­day apart­ment in Por­tu­gal in 2007.

Maelys was last seen in a play room in the hall in Le Pont-de-Beau­voisin, a small town near Cham­bery in the French Alps around 3am on Sun­day.

She had at­tended the wed­ding with her mum –who was the bride’s cousin – her dad and elder sis­ter.

Guests ini­tially searched for the young­ster af­ter a DJ an­nounced she had van­ished.

Alerted

A wed­ding guest called Gre­goire said: “It was an­guish. We ini­tially thought she must be asleep in a cor­ner af­ter a game of hide-and-seek. Af­ter an hour as we’d found noth­ing so the po­lice were alerted.’’

A mas­sive search was launched in­volv­ing po­lice divers, dog han­dlers and a force he­li­copter.

Re­gional po­lice chief Yves Marzin said: “One of the pos­si­ble the­o­ries is that lit­tle Maelys left in a car, one way or an­other.’’

Maelys lives in the Jura district of France which is around 150 miles north from the spot where she van­ished.

Madeleine McCann’s par­ents Kate and Gerry, of Roth­ley, Le­ics, are con­vinced their daugh­ter was ab­ducted while they dined with pals in a nearby tapas bar.

Madeleine’s favourite soft toy Cud­dle Cat was also left be­hind.

De­spite a decade of ap­peals and a £12mil­lion Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion she has never been found.

HUNT: Po­lice search gar­den near wed­ding venue

®Ê MISS­ING: Maelys. Be­low, po­lice divers search a pond. Bot­tom, the town of Pont-de-Beau­voisin

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