‘Clue found’ in Madeleine McCann case during three-day search at Algarve reservoir

26 May 2023, 06:43 | Updated: 26 May 2023, 08:32

Material collected in the latest search for Madeleine McCann will be sent for testing in Germany, Portuguese police have said.
Material collected in the latest search for Madeleine McCann will be sent for testing in Germany, Portuguese police have said. Picture: Getty / Alamy / PA

By Asher McShane

Police searches of a beauty spot in Portugal linked to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann ended with a reported discovery of a ‘relevant clue’ in the case.

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The prime suspect in the case, Christian Brückner, described the location as a ‘paradise’ and a witness reported a sighting of him there in the days after Maddie’s disappearance.

Soil and other items are being sent for forensic tests in Germany after a three-day joint operation with Portuguese authorities.

The investigation centred on a promontory at the Barragem do Arade reservoir, about 30 miles from the holiday resort of Praia da Luz, from which Madeleine vanished days before her fourth birthday in May 2007.

Police searched a picnic spot in an area of remote woodland. Debris and soil were removed from the site and eight holes around 2ft deep were drilled, suggesting officers were looking for buried items or soil samples.

According to the Correio da Manga newspaper, a ‘relevant clue’ was found.

Madeleine McCann who vanished in Portugal in 2007
Madeleine McCann who vanished in Portugal in 2007. Picture: Alamy

Another area of woodland was searched with several further small holes dug by police.

The Portuguese Polícia Judiciária said: “The steps requested by the German authorities have been carried out . . . which resulted in the collection of some material which will be subject to the competent expertise.”

Police said the three-day search had "resulted in the collection of some material", and would "be handed over to the German authorities".

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Police search boats were seen on the reservoir.
Police search boats were seen on the reservoir. Picture: Alamy

Read more: 'Credible evidence' that Madeleine McCann prime suspect visited reservoir 'days after she vanished'

Read more: Madeleine McCann cops search wooded area with sniffer dogs as reservoir hunt continues

Read more: Madeleine McCann's pink pyjamas hunted in Portuguese reservior search as police seen taking bags from scene

German prosecutor Christian Wolters said: "Of course there is a certain expectation, but it is not high."

He added that it was important to show that authorities were investigating the case.

Sniffer dogs were also used during the search.
Sniffer dogs were also used during the search. Picture: Alamy
Listen and subscribe to Unprecedented: Inside Downing Street on Global Player
Listen and subscribe to Unprecedented: Inside Downing Street on Global Player. Picture: LBC

The search was conducted approximately 30 miles from Praia da Luz, the resort where three-year-old Madeleine went missing in 2007.

"Of course we are still looking for the body," Mr Wolters said. "We're not just looking for that, of course. There are other things too.

"Any discovery of clothing could help the investigation."

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Last year German prosecutors named Christian Brueckner as an official suspect in Madeleine's disappearance.

It is claimed the convicted child abuser and drug dealer used to visit the reservoir, and allegedly referred to it as "his paradise".

Brueckner, who dies any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance, is currently in prison in Germany for raping a 72-year-old woman in the same area of the Algarve where Madeleine went missing.

He has not been charged with any crime related the missing British girl.

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