Police investigate Madeleine McCann’s disappearance ‘to search reservoir’
Material collected during a three-day search for evidence in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann will be sent to Germany for testing, Portuguese police have confirmed.
Officers ended their search at the Algarve reservoir on Thursday, where prime suspect Christian Brueckner is reported to have visited “a few days” after the three-year-old disappeared on May 3, 2007.
Using sniffer dogs and a tractor-based tree-cutter, authorities are investigating the Barragem do Arade reservoir in the Algarve – about 31 miles inland from where the McCanns are staying.
On Tuesday, officials acting on “credible information” said that looking for any pieces of clothing and old rags which may be related to his disappearance, as reported by Daily Mail.
A source close to the investigation told Reuters there was nothing to report as German prosecutor Christian Wolters despaired, adding: “Of course, there is a certain expectation, but it is not high.”
Brueckner has denied any involvement and is currently in prison in Germany for raping a 72-year-old woman in the same part of Portugal.
Madeleine McCann police have given an update as they wrap up their search of the Portugal reservoir
Police say materials unearthed during a three-day search for evidence of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance in a remote reservoir in Portugal have been sent for analysis.
Authorities have been investigating the Barragem do Arade reservoir in the Algarve this week, using sniffer dogs and cutting down trees as part of a search inland from the coastal resort where the then three-year-old disappeared in 2007.
As police wrapped up their three-day search on Thursday, they confirmed that “materials collected” had been sent to Germany for analysis.
William MataMay 25, 2023 21:01
Madeleine McCann case: Timeline of the disappearance of the missing child
Madeleine McCann, a three-year-old girl from Rothley, Leicestershire, disappeared from the Portuguese holiday resort of Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3, 2007.
For more than 16 years the case has captured public attention but while there are some signs of progress, the investigation remains unsolved.
William MataMay 26, 2023 02:00
Watch for: Sniffer dogs and pickaxes used in reservoir avoidance
Madeleine McCann: Sniffer dogs and pickaxes used to scrape the reservoir
William MataMay 26, 2023 01:00
Who is Christian Brueckner? Madeleine McCann and the accusations against her are suspect
German prisoner Christian Brueckner was first named in connection with the unsolved mystery last summer, and was officially named as a suspect last year.
Her yellow and white VW T3 Westfalia campervan has reportedly been identified near the Praia da Luz resort in Portugal where the girl disappeared on May 3, 2007.
Three-year-old Madeleine disappeared from the bed of her holiday apartment while her parents and family friends were eating 180 feet away. Her two-year-old twin brother was also in the apartment where she disappeared. Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann have been searching for answers ever since.
The Metropolitan Police took over the investigation, Operation Grange, in 2011 but hit dead ends. There has not been another significant suspect in the case since 2007 until Brueckner.
William MataMay 26, 2023 00:00
How the search ended
As part of this last three-day investigation, police dug holes of around 60cm and these have been left behind, along with piles of soil, now that the authorities have left the excavation site.
The surrounding woods showed that paths had been cut by heavy machinery, leading to the main flat 160 square-foot excavation area. A no-fly zone was also imposed over the reservoir for the first two days.
In a statement, police in Portugal said: “[The search] resulted in the collection of some material to be subjected to competent expertise. The material collected will be handed over to the German authorities.
The new searches come as the Home Office provided an extra £110,000 in funding this financial year for the Metropolitan Police to help find Madeleine, up from just over £300,000 last year.
Total funding given to Operation Grange is just under £13.1 million since 2011.
William MataMay 25, 2023 23:00
The German prosecutor is holding out hope of a breakthrough
A source close to the investigation said Reuters nothing to report, while the German prosecutor Christian Wolters does not expect a victory, saying: “Of course, there is a certain expectation, but it is not high.”
He added that investigators were looking for a body, but for anything that would help the investigation, such as clothing.
Mr Wolters said he did not expect the results of the analyzes of the collected samples to be announced anytime soon.
William MataMay 25, 2023 22:00
Officers filmed the excavation site before being told by police to stand down
Police were seen filming an excavation site near the shores of a remote reservoir in Portugal as fresh searches for Madeleine McCann entered a third day.
Officials kept their focus on a wooded area on a peninsula in Barragem do Arade on Thursday after the excavation operation was started on Wednesday afternoon.
Heavy machinery, used to cut through extensive undergrowth, was removed from the search area on Thursday afternoon amid reports that officials had been told to stand down by 4pm.
A large part of the Barragem do Arade has been cordoned off since Tuesday morning, about 30 miles from where Madeleine disappeared in 2007.
Officers used shovels to excavate their area of focus, and sniffer dogs and pickaxes were also deployed during the searches.
While some focused on the excavation site, others used rakes and shovels to scour the surrounding area, slowly making their way through the recently cut undergrowth.
The operation is being carried out at the request of German investigators who believe their prime suspect, convicted sex offender Christian Brueckner, 45, kidnapped and killed the boy.
Maryam Zakir-HussainMay 25, 2023 14:57
How much did the Madeleine McCann investigation cost?
Sixteen years after Madeleine McCann disappeared from the Algarve holiday apartment where she was sleeping next to her baby twin brothers, police have launched a major new search for evidence.
After lying dormant for several years since David Cameron launched a fruitless Metropolitan Police inquiry in 2011, the case of the missing three-year-old was revived in 2020 when German prosecutors revealed a new suspect.
But three years later, 43-year-old convicted pedophile Christian Brueckner – who denies any connection to the missing child – has yet to face charges, as he is being held in a German prison for raping a 72 -year-old American woman who is two. years before Madeleine’s disappearance at the same resort.
Maryam Zakir-HussainMay 25, 2023 14:30
ICYMI: Who is Christian Brueckner? Madeleine McCann and the accusations against her are suspect
German prisoner Christian Brueckner was first named in connection with the unsolved mystery last summer, and was officially named as a suspect last year. Her yellow and white VW T3 Westfalia campervan has reportedly been identified near the Praia da Luz resort in Portugal where the girl disappeared on May 3, 2007.
Maroosha MuzaffarMay 25, 2023 14:00
In pictures: Portugal’s reservoir scenes today
Maryam Zakir-HussainMay 25, 2023 13:30