Berliner TageBlatt - Police search Portugal reservoir in Madeleine McCann case

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Police search Portugal reservoir in Madeleine McCann case
Police search Portugal reservoir in Madeleine McCann case / Foto: © AFP

Police search Portugal reservoir in Madeleine McCann case

Police were carrying out new searches near a reservoir in Portugal Tuesday connected to the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann, who vanished from a resort in the Algarve region 16 years ago.


AFP reporters on the scene of the remote Arade reservoir, nearly 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the resort where McCann's family stayed when she disappeared, saw police officers searching the bank along the dam with the help of a sniffer dog.

Two officers searched the water on board a fire department boat.

Further information about the "criminal procedural measures" was not given "for tactical investigative reasons", German prosecutors in Brunswick said.

"Maddie" McCann was three years old when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz in 2007, while her parents dined at a nearby tapas bar.

Portuguese media reported the police had already combed the site in 2008 but divers found only animal remains.

Despite a huge international manhunt, no trace of her has been found and no one has been charged over her disappearance.

- 'Concrete evidence' -

German prosecutors revealed in June 2020 that they were investigating a German man, Christian Brueckner, in connection with the case, saying they had "concrete evidence" he killed Madeleine.

Brueckner, who Portuguese police named as a formal suspect last year, is currently in jail in Germany for the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old American in Praia da Luz.

Portuguese weekly magazine Expresso has reported that he would regularly spend time near the reservoir outside the small inland town of Silves.

Before he was connected to the McCann case, Brueckner already had a string of previous convictions for different crimes, including sexual offences and drug trafficking.

He was also charged last year with three counts of rape and two sexual offences against children in Portugal between 2000 and 2017.

However, German prosecutors have yet to charge him over Madeleine's disappearance.

Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, said earlier this month they were "still looking" for their daughter in a message to mark her 20th birthday.

"Happy birthday Madeleine. Still missing. Still very much missed. Still looking. For as long as it takes," they said in a post on the official Facebook page of the Find Madeleine Campaign.

"We love you and we're waiting for you. We're never going to give up," they added in the message accompanied by a YouTube video with photos of the missing girl.

In early May, Madeleine's family held a vigil to mark 16 years since her disappearance.