Madeleine McCann detectives end search of remote Portuguese reservoir after removing a number of bags

25 May 2023, 17:21 | Updated: 25 May 2023, 17:52

The search has now come to an end after three days.
The search has now come to an end after three days. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Jenny Medlicott

The revived search for Madeleine McCann has come to an end after three days without any new discoveries being announced.

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German police renewed search efforts for missing Madeleine McCann on Tuesday, shortly after receiving “certain tip-offs” related to the location.

Policia Judiciaria announced they were carrying out the searches at the request of German authorities but it is not known if anything was found.

German prosecutor Christian Wolters said as “the accused has not yet had access to the files”, referring to prime suspect Christian Brückner, they would not publish any new evidence that might implicate him.

He also said as he announced the search on Tuesday: "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."

Police said there were "indications that we could find evidence in the area", after an informant gave them new details.

Sources in Portugal claimed during the search that police were hoping to recover the pink Eeyore pyjamas Madeleine was wearing when she disappeared.

Sniffer dogs were used to comb through nearby wooded areas while police divers explored the murky depths of the water.

The divers were seen retrieving a number of bags from the reservoir during the search but it is not known what they contained.

It took place approximately 30 miles from Praia da Luz, the resort where Madeleine went missing in 2007.

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Police search boats were seen on the reservoir.
Police search boats were seen on the reservoir. Picture: Alamy
Madeleine McCann who vanished in Portugal in 2007
Madeleine McCann who vanished in Portugal in 2007. 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

The same area was already searched twice back in February and March 2008 after a photo of the Algarve reservoir was found in the home of the prime suspect.

The 2008 searches led to the recovery of two bags containing small bones, as well as several lengths of cord, some plastic tape and a single white cotton sock.

It is believed this is the first time the reservoir has been searched since March 2008, when the investigation into her disappearance was still ongoing.

Christian Brueckner, 45, who was named as the sole suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine visited the reservoir shortly after Madeleine vanished in May 2007, a former friend is believed to have told police.

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

Sniffer dogs were also used during the search.
Sniffer dogs were also used during the search. Picture: Alamy

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

His defence lawyer Friedrich Fulscher labelled the accusations against him a “procedural trick” linked to statute of limitations legislation at the time.

The revived search came just days after Madeleine's parents released a statement on what would have been her 20th birthday.

In a caption shared alongside a birthday video, her family said: "Happy birthday Madeleine. Madeleine McCann is 20 years-old today. She's still missing, still missed and we are never going to give up trying to find her."