"Madeleine McCann Mania" has gripped Europe to the point where no blond-haired child is spared from the suspicious eye of a self-proclaimed do-gooder.
The now desperate search for the missing toddler took a new turn this week after a British couple vacationing in Croatia tried to snatch a child they thought was Madeleine. This child, however, wasn’t even a little girl.
“Madeleine” was actually Leone Drpic, the son of Croatian soccer star Dino Drpic and supermodel wife Nives, who were none too happy about his attempted abduction.
“I started getting suspicious when the British woman approached Leone and started chatting with him,” Nives told the Daily Mail newspaper. “Suddenly she grabbed him by the arm, apparently thinking nobody was watching him.”
After realizing her mistake, the woman apologized, Nives Drpic said.
Madeleine sightings have been reported worldwide since the parents of the missing girl, Gerry and Kate McCann, set up a massive campaign to bring her home safely. Earlier this month, CCTV footage in Belgium captured a girl resembling Madeleine walking with a woman in a veil.
Belgian authorities later ruled that the sighting was not Madeleine because the father of the girl in the video identified the two as his daughter and her Morrocan nanny.
Madeleine vanished on May 3, 2007 from a hotel room in Praia da Luz, Portugal, while on vacation with her family. Her parents had been dining at a restaurant across the street at the time of her disappearance.