Portuguese police break silence as reservoir search for Maddie McCann begins
Madeleine McCann: Police investigating ‘to search reservoir’
Portuguese police have broken their silence as a major search for Madeleine McCann goes ahead. The authorities have locked down a remote reservoir in the Algarve, Portugal, this morning as they begin to comb scrubland near the water. It is the first major search for Maddie, who went missing in Praia De Luz back in 2007, in nine years.
German police officers, who are leading the operation, were spotted arriving at Arade Dam at roughly 6.30pm yesterday. This morning police divers appear to be concentrating their search at a particular area of the reservoir.
Officers have set up two white tents on the bank as divers entered the water early this morning.
Roads leading to Arade Dam, described as the “little paradise” of primary suspect Christian Brueckner, had been closed yesterday as part of a “preparation day”.
A makeshift campsite was also set up after the arrival of Portuguese police and civil protection officers yesterday lunchtime.
In a new statement by Portuguese police, they confirmed the search will be coordinated by the Portuguese Judiciary Police but that it was requested by German officers.
They are planning to comb the area until nightfall, with a 9am start time.
The statement said: “In view of the news made public, the Judiciary Police confirms that, regarding the investigation into the disappearance of an English child, which occurred in the Algarve in 2007, steps are still being taken to fully clarify the situation.
“Within the scope of international cooperation, in the next few days in the Algarve region, new searches will be carried out, coordinated by the Judiciary Police, at the request of the German Authorities (BKA) and with the presence of the British Authorities.
“Information will be provided in due course on the outcome of the proceedings.”
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The dam is a 40-minute drive from Praia da Luz where Madeleine McCann disappeared 16 years ago.
The airspace around the water and land close to the water’s edge is believed to only be open to police drones.
Christian Brueckner, 45, is the primary suspect in the case.
It is understood he used to spend time at Arade Dam after parking his camper van nearby and was around the general area between 2000 and 2017.
Police believe Brueckner murdered Madeleine after abducting her from the holiday home in Praia da Luz.
He is a convicted sex offender, currently in prison for raping an elderly American woman in 2005.
Brueckner was also charged in Germany with several sex crimes on the Algarve. These include crimes against women and children, such as allegedly raping 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.
He denies any involvement in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.
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