Madeleine McCann: Portuguese police start search of reservoir where suspect was seen
The search was requested after German authorities said a suspect in the disappearance of the girl has visited the area.
Police in Portugal have started searching a reservoir, in a new development in the disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann.
On Tuesday morning, an inflatable boat could be seen on the water as divers worked in the reservoir.
The PA news agency also reported that around 12 police officers with sniffer dogs were seen moving along the bank of the reservoir.
Portuguese police had earlier confirmed they would conduct the search at the request of the German authorities, and in the presence of British officials.
“As part of international cooperation, new searches will be conducted in the coming days, at the request of the German authorities,” said the Portuguese investigators adding that they will be “coordinated by the judicial police and will be in the presence of the British authorities.
Earlier that day, police were seen erecting tents and cordons in an area by the Arade dam, about 50 kilometres from Praia da Luz, where the three-year-old was last seen alive in 2007.
Christian Brueckner, 45, was made a formal suspect, or an “arguido”, by Portuguese prosecutors in 2022. The search is reported to have been requested by German police as it was an area he had visited.
According to local media, divers had already searched this area in 2008, but had found only animal remains.
The prosecutor’s office in the German state of Braunschweig issued a short statement on Tuesday morning.
“As part of the investigation into the case of Madeleine McCann there are currently measures related to the criminal process taking place in Portugal,” it stated.
“The measures are being implemented… by the Portuguese law enforcement authorities with the support of officers of the [German] Federal Criminal Police Office.
“Further information on the background will not be released at this time.”
Madeleine McCann disappeared from her room at the Praia da Luz hotel complex, a small seaside resort in the Algarve region, on 3 May 2007, while her parents were having dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant.
The Portuguese police closed the case in 2008 after 14 months of controversial investigations.
After spending two years studying the case, the United Kingdom officially opened its own investigation in July 2013. The Portuguese authorities reopened their case again shortly thereafter.
Madeleine’s disappearance stirred worldwide interest, with public claims of having spotted her stretching as far away as Australia, along with a slew of books and television documentaries about the case.
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