By Stephen Webb, ABC News London
We all want to see missing British girl Madeleine McCann brought home safe and sound, but the intensity of emotional investment on the part of the public in the case demonstrably has its perils.
Two British tourists on holiday in Croatia recently were so convinced that a small blond child they had spotted was Madeleine that they decided to rescue her. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the missing 5-year-old. It wasn’t even a girl.
The U.K. newspaper The Mirror reported the unnamed Brits, who were vacationing on the island of Krk, saw the look-alike walking along a beach with a woman. They followed the pair and even secretly took photos.
The Daily Mail, another U.K. newspaper, reported that when the woman wasn’t looking, they grabbed the child's arm, and then realized their mistake.
The child was in fact the 2-year old son of a Crotian footballer, Dino Drpic, and glamour model, Nives Drpic.
It is reported that yesterday Nives said: "I started getting suspicious when the British woman approached Leone and started chatting with him … Suddenly she grabbed him by the arm, apparently thinking nobody was watching him … However, when I went over she realized her mistake and apologized."
Madeleine McCann disappeared in May 2007 while on holiday in Portugal with her parents. She was 3 years old at the time. There have been hundreds of reported sightings across the world since.
Photo Credit: Associated Press