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

25 May 2023, 08:59

Investigators will search a remote reservoir in Portugal on Thursday
Investigators will search a remote reservoir in Portugal on Thursday. Picture: PA
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

There is 'credible' evidence that the prime suspect in Madeleine McCann's disappearance visited a Portuguese reservoir currently being searched by police days after she vanished.

Christian Brueckner, who referred to the area as a 'little paradise', visited the Barragem do Arade reservoir shortly after Madeleine vanished in May 2007, a former friend is believed to have told police.

There are currently "indications that we could find evidence in the area", police have said, after an informant gave them new details.

It comes after it was revealed that divers searching the reservoir are searching for signs of the pink Eeyore pyjamas that she was wearing when she went missing.

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Portuguese Police Search Reservoir For Missing British Toddler Madeleine McCann
Portuguese Police Search Reservoir For Missing British Toddler Madeleine McCann. Picture: Getty

Police first entered the water on Tuesday and were seen removing several bags from the water.

Investigators believe Brueckner, 45, is behind Madeleine's disappearance, then aged three.

As for recent developments, German prosecutor Christian Wolter said previously: "We are investigating in Portugal on the basis of certain tips (tip-offs).

"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."

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

Read More: What age would Madeleine McCann be now and what year did she go missing?

The search was initially expected to last two days, but the search will likely continue past Thursday.

"It's clear that they believe there may be something very important here and they've been given more time to search for it," the insider told The Sun.

Madeleine McCann went missing in 2007
Madeleine McCann went missing in 2007. Picture: PA

Maddie's parents Kate and Gerry are expected to be kept informed of any developments as a result of the new search through Scotland Yard liaison officers.

German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters has consistently said he is convinced Madeleine is dead and caged paedophile Brueckner, 45, has been named as the sole suspect.

He is currently serving time for the September 2005 rape of an American OPA in the resort where Madeleine vanished and has yet to face any formal accusation over the youngster’s disappearance.

Last April he was made an official suspect, or arguido, in Portugal over Madeleine’s disappearance, although his defence lawyer Friedrich Fulscher labelled it a “procedural trick” linked to statute of limitations legislation at the time.

Last autumn Bruecker was charged in Germany with several sex crimes on the Algarve against women and children including the rape of an Irish holiday rep in 2004 and the sexual abuse of a 10-year-old girl on a beach near Praia da Luz in 2007.

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