Arade Dam, Portugal – Police updated on Tuesday Search for Madeleine McCann, the British girl who went missing in Portugal in 2007, was discovered by authorities digging and scraping the surface of land next to a dam not far from where she went missing. About 20 officers with tools such as rakes and spades spread out in a line and began digging and raking mud close to the Arade dam, about 30 miles from Praia da Luz in southern Portugal, where the 3-year-old girl was . Last seen alive 16 years ago.
Earlier, some firefighters could be seen in a boat on the reservoir.
There were no immediate details on what progress has been made in the search.
The operation, led by Portuguese police aided by German and British allies, was announced on Monday. Portuguese officials said it followed a request from German authorities.
Portuguese police on Monday set up two blue tents and cordoned off the area for media and the public. More than a dozen cars and police vans arrived in the early hours of Tuesday. 20 to 30 officers, some in uniform, were in the area. Witnesses said police began the search shortly before 8 a.m.
Portuguese media said this was the fourth search for McCann, following an initial one in the Algarve region in 2007 and then others in 2013 and 2014. Another discovery was made in Germany in 2020.
This week’s discovery is believed to be the first in the dam area.
German prosecutors in Braunschweig said in a written statement on Tuesday that “criminal procedural measures are currently being taken in Portugal as part of the investigation into the Madeleine McCann case.”
He added that “the measures are being implemented through mutual legal assistance by the Portuguese prosecuting authorities with the support of officials from the Federal Criminal Police Office.”
“For tactical reasons the investigation is not releasing more detailed information on the background at this time,” the statement said.
In mid-2020, German authorities said that a 45-year-old German national, identified by the media as Christian Brueckner, who had been in the Algarve in 2007, was a suspect in the case. Brueckner has denied any involvement in McCann’s disappearance, but is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence in Germany for a 2005 rape he committed in Portugal.
Bruckner spent several years in Portugal, including the resort of Praia da Luz around that time. Madeleine’s Disappearance From the resort town in 2007.
Last year, a German public prosecutor announced Allegations Against Brueckner “He has been allegedly charged with multiple sex offenses committed in Portugal between December 28, 2000 and June 11, 2017,” McCann said, not related to the case.
He is under investigation for suspicion of murder in the McCann case, but has not been charged.
The case generated worldwide interest for many years, with books and television documentaries about the case, as well as reports of sightings spreading as far away as Australia.
The reward for finding McCann, who would now be 20, has reached several million dollars.
British, Portuguese and German police are still working out what happened the night she disappeared from her bed in a southern Portuguese resort on May 3, 2007. time, while his parents had dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant.
Referring to the latest searches, Braunschweig prosecutor Christian Wolters said on Tuesday that “we are conducting an investigation in Portugal based on some tips,” but declined to give further details.
Wolters said the search “will take a while.” Portuguese officials said the search would take place over the next few days.