SILVES, Portugal, May 24 (Reuters) – Police with sniffer dogs on Wednesday resumed a search at a remote reservoir in Portugal for possible evidence linking a German suspect to the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann 16 years ago.
Emergency services with brush cutters to clear the search area arrived at the temporary camp set up on the shores of the Arade reservoir early on Wednesday.
Portuguese police, assisted by German and British counterparts, had focused their search on Tuesday on the reservoir’s shoreline and it was unclear if they would continue to do so on Wednesday or use divers to search the water.
McCann was aged three in May 2007 when she vanished from her bedroom in the apartment her family were staying at in the Praia da Luz resort on the Algarve coast. The reservoir is about 50 km (31 miles) inland from the resort.
The renewed search is being carried out at the request of German authorities and is likely linked to photographs of the Arade reservoir found at the hideout of a German man, Christian Brueckner, a source familiar with the investigation has told Reuters.
Sky News reported that police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have taken away a number of bags from a search site in southern Portugal.But it is not known what was in the bags.
German prosecutors last year named Brueckner an official suspect in McCann’s disappearance. The convicted child abuser and drug dealer is behind bars in Germany for raping a 72-year-old woman in the same area of the Algarve region from where McCann went missing.
The McCann case, unsolved for the past 16 years, remains a mystery as no body has ever been found. It sparked a media frenzy in Britain, with developments also followed by outlets around the world and celebrities joining appeals to help find Madeleine.
Photo: Portuguese authorities during the search operation at the Arade dam area, Faro District, amid the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann (inset), in Silves, Portugal, 24 May 2023. The operation, which began on 23 May, stems from a European Investigation Order addressed by the German authorities to Portugal and focuses on the Arade dam, located about 50 kilometers from Praia da Luz, where the child disappeared on 03 May 2007 while on vacation with her parents. EPA-EFE/RICARDO NASCIMENTO