Monday, 22 Apr 2024

Map shows search for Madeleine McCann 31 miles from where she vanished

A new map shows where Portuguese police are currently searching in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

German and Portuguese authorities launched a search at a reservoir on Tuesday morning.

British police will be observing the search, which has been launched after German police said they had received ‘certain tip offs’.

The site is said to have been regularly visited by Christian Brueckner, the German paedophile suspected of killing Maddie.

Officers have sealed off a mile-long stretch of the Barragem do Arade reservoir, which is near the town of Silves in the Algarve.

It’s located 50km – about 31 miles – from Praia de Luz, where the three-year-old vanished in 2007.

The Barragem do Arade is fed by the watercourse of the Arade River whose source lies to the southwest of the Serrra do Caldeirao mountain range and runs through the municipalities of Silves, Lagoa and Portimao before reaching the ocean.

Construction was concluded in 1955 and it began operating the following year.

Maddie disappeared from her family’s hotel room at the Ocean Club while her parents were eating a meal.

Two days after Maddie went missing, in Silves which is between Praia de Luz and the reservoir, a lorry driver told police he saw a woman handing a child ‘who looked like Maddie’ to a man.

The reservoir was previously searched in 2008 after Portuguese lawyer Marcos Aragao Correia paid for specialist divers to check the site.

He claimed to have been tipped off by criminal contacts that Madeleine’s body was in the reservoir, but nothing was found.

A no-fly zone has been put in place over the reservoir, allowing police drones to scan the area.

Police divers, as well as a police motor boat with two officers aboard, were seen entering the water of the reservoir – but it’s been suggested the search will likely be 80% focused on the woodland surrounding the water.

Brueckner, 45, had previously called the man-made lake his ‘little paradise’.

Sources close to the investigation said the clearing in the trees was the spot Brueckner used to spend time at after parking up his camper van nearby.

A well-placed police source said: ‘Portuguese police are going to carry out a thorough and very careful search of the area today.

‘Policia Judiciaria officers are going to be divided into four teams who will focus on a land search. It will be very meticulous and exhaustive.

‘Forget the idea of big trucks and large machinery. A lot of the work that’s going to be done here today will be done by hand with backup technology.’

Brueckner is in prison for the rape of a 72-year-old woman, but German police have charged him with multiple child sex offences between 2000 and 2007.

They claim to have ‘concrete evidence’ that Madeleine is dead, and say they found links to her in a van belonging to him.

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