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Police confirm NZealand girl not Madeleine McCann

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February 12, 2013 09:22 PM EST | AP

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand — DNA tests have confirmed a New Zealand girl is not missing British youngster Madeleine McCann, police said Wednesday.

Members of the public have twice mistakenly identified the New Zealand girl as Madeleine. The first sighting was last March and the second on New Year's Eve.

Madeleine was 3 years old when she vanished nearly six years ago during a family vacation to Portugal. Her disappearance drew attention as well as false sightings around the globe. Portuguese police closed the case in 2008 after failing to find out what happened to her.

New Zealand police said in a statement they sent DNA samples to Scotland Yard at the request of British police still investigating Madeleine's disappearance. New Zealand police say the unnamed girl's family has requested privacy, so no more details about the girl were available.