Police investigating disappearance of Madeleine McCann ‘to search reservoir’
Police searching for Madeleine McCann were seen entering the water early this morning at the Barragem do Arade reservoir in Portugal which suspect Christian Brueckner used to visit.
Investigators believe the 45-year-old killed Madeleine, then aged three, after abducting her from a holiday apartment.
The reservoir is around 50km from Praia da Luz where Madeleine went missing in 2007. A police motor boat has also been sent into the water with two officers on it.
A Policia Judiciaria statement said it is co-ordinating searches in the Algarve at the request of German police and in the presence of British officers.
The development comes just 10 days after Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, issued a tribute on their Leicestershire-born daughter’s 20th birthday, telling her: “We love you and we’re waiting for you. We’re never going to give up.”
British police are due to travel to Portugal to observe the new search, with Scotland Yard liaison officers expected to keep the McCanns informed of any developments.
Investigators looking for Madeleine’s ‘pink pyjamas’
Police officers searching for Madeleine McCann are scouring a lake in Portugal for the pink pajamas the British toddler was wearing when she vanished in 2007, Daily Mail reported, citing sources.
The officers acting on “credible information” are seeking any fragments of clothing and old rags that could be related to her disappearance.
Investigators took “a number of bags” away from the remote Algarve reservoir yesterday, according to the report.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar24 May 2023 05:00
Police begin digging near reservoir
Investigators were seen digging near a reservoir in Portugal in a long-running probe into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
The Arade dam is 50km from Praia da Luz, where the British toddler went missing 16 years ago.
The operation is being led by German police looking for evidence to link her disappearance to suspect Christian Brueckner.
Sniffer dogs were used in a search of the reservoir’s banks, and police officers went out into the water on an inflatable boat, BBC reported.
Uniformed and plain-clothed police officers spent hours scouring the scrubland, using pickaxes and inspecting small rocks with rakes and spades.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar24 May 2023 04:30
Search for Madeleine ‘most expensive in Portugal’s history’
While British authorities have disclosed the millions spent on Scotland Yard’s Operation Grange, launched in 2011, German and Portuguese authorities have not revealed exactly how much their efforts to find Madeleine McCann have cost.
However, in 2012, Portugal’s then-attorney general is reported to have claimed that the search for the missing girl had been the most expensive in the country’s history.
The last search for evidence in the case in Portugal came in 2014, when British police were given permission to examine scrubland near where she vanished.
Andy Gregory24 May 2023 04:01
Suspect’s lawyer claims German court may have no jurisdiction over Madeleine case
Last month, a court in the German city of Braunschweig threw out unrelated rape and sexual offences against suspect Christian Brueckner, as the court had no jurisdiction.
His lawyer Friedrich Fuelscher told Reuters that the decision meant legal authorities there had no jurisdiction over the Madeleine McCann case.
Andy Gregory24 May 2023 03:04
Madeleine McCann’s sister speaks publicly for first time since her disappearance
A fortnight prior to the fresh search, Madeleine McCann’s sister spoke publicly for the first time since her sibling’s disappearance 16 years ago.
At a vigil marking the anniversary, Amelie, now aged 18, said: “It’s nice that everyone is here together but it’s a sad occasion.”
The informal prayer meeting, attended by about 70 people, took place in the family’s home village of Rothley in Leicestershire earlier this month. Parents Kate and Gerry McCann took part, although Sean, Amelie’s twin brother, did not.
Andy Gregory24 May 2023 02:01
Who is Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner?
Madeleine McCann’s disappearance has puzzled detectives for more than 15 years – but in 2020 a new potential suspect emerged. Now, police are searching a remote reservoir in Portugal’s the Algarve that he used to visit in a renewed effort to shed further light on the case.
German prisoner Christian Brueckner was first named in connection with the unsolved mystery that summer, and officially named as a suspect last year. His yellow and white VW T3 Westfalia campervan was reportedly identified as having been near to the Praia da Luz resort in Portugal where the young girl went missing.
My colleague Lucy Skoulding has more details on the suspect here:
Andy Gregory24 May 2023 01:02
Video report: What we know so far as police search Algarve reservoir
Madeleine McCann: What we know so far as police search Algarve reservoir
Andy Gregory23 May 2023 23:59
Full report: Sniffer dogs and pickaxes used by police in fresh Madeleine McCann searches
Police have combed the banks of a reservoir in Portugal with the help of sniffer dogs, rakes and pickaxes as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
Emergency service divers were seen on a rigid-hull inflatable boat early on Tuesday morning at the Barragem do Arade – around 30 miles from Praia da Luz, where the three-year-old went missing in 2007.
Read the full report here:
Andy Gregory23 May 2023 22:59
Where have police been searching today?
Four teams of officers from the Portuguese Policia Judiciaria are involved in the operation, along with at least 20 of their German counterparts, Portuguese broadcaster SIC reports.
Officers concentrated their search today at one area of the reservoir – erecting white tents on a hill on the banks.
Further around the water, emergency services and officials from Portugal, Germany and the UK were seen holding briefings near blue police tents.
Andy Gregory23 May 2023 21:55
Met Police handed further £110,000 for Madeleine search
The new searches come as the Home Office granted an extra £110,000 in funding this financial year for the Metropolitan Police to assist with finding Madeleine McCann, down from just over £300,000 last year.
The total funding given to Operation Grange has been just under £13.1m since 2011.
Andy Gregory23 May 2023 20:58