Portuguese authorities have begun what’s expected to be a two-day search near a dam about 30 miles from the resort where missing British toddler Maddie McCann was last seen in 2007.
As CrimeOnline reported, the Portuguese Judiciary Police said that the search was requested by German authorities, who have been investigating convicted rapist Christian Brückner as the prime suspect in the 3-year-old’s disappearance and presumed murder.
“We are investigating in Portugal on the basis of certain tips,” German prosecutor Christian Wolter said, according to the British tabloid The Mirror. “I can’t disclose the background at the moment, like why we are searching there and what we hope to find there. That shall remain our secret for the moment.”
A source familiar with the investigation told Reuters the search is unlikely to uncover any evidence. “It will come to nothing,” the source said.
Police set up tents to serve as the base for the search on Monday in preparation for the active search of the Arade reservoir, which began Tuesday morning. A no-fly zone was set up around the reservoir, limiting drone flights to police aircraft, The Mirror said. A boat was seen on the water while other investigators combed the shoreline. Cadaver dogs were also utilized.
Brückner was known to frequent the picturesque reservoir, which was initially searched in 2008 with nothing turned up but some animal bones.
Maddie McCann vanished from her parents’ room at a resort in Praia da Luz, where they were vacationing. The parents were at dinner with friends and were checking on their children periodically. All was well when Gerry McCann checked at 9 p.m., but Maddie was gone when Kate checked an hour later.
Brückner, who is serving a prison sentence in Germany for the rape of a 72-year-old woman in the same area, was officially named a suspect last year. He has repeatedly denied involvement in Maddie’s disappearance.
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[Featured image: Madeleine McCann/handout and A search dingy navigates in the Arade reservoir near Silves, Portugal on May 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Joao Matos)]