Police investigate Madeleine McCann’s disappearance ‘in search of reservoir’
Police searching for Madeleine McCann are to conduct a major search of a remote reservoir in Portugal suspected to have been visited by Christian Brueckner.
A peninsula floating on the Algarve’s reservoir was sealed off on Monday as police and Portuguese Civil Protection workers were seen setting up tents and other structures nearby.
The search was carried out at the request of German investigators who are investigating the only suspect Brueckner, the 45-year-old pedophile who is currently in prison near Bremen for raping an American pensioner in 2005 at the resort where Madeleine disappeared two years ago, three years old.
The development comes just 10 days after Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, issued a tribute to their Leicestershire-born daughter on her 20th birthday, telling her: “You are loved and we are waiting for you. We will never give up.”
British police are due to travel to Portugal to monitor the new search, with Scotland Yard liaison officers expected to keep the McCanns informed of any developments.
New searches for Madeleine McCann are expected to begin in Portugal
Searches are expected to begin on Tuesday as part of the investigation into Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, Portuguese police have confirmed.
A statement by the Policia Judiciaria said it was coordinating the searches in the Algarve at the request of the German police and in the presence of British officials.
An area near the Barragem do Arade reservoir, about 50km from Praia da Luz where Madeleine disappeared in 2007, has been sealed off ahead of the search according to Portuguese news website SIC.
It said the main suspect in her disappearance, convicted sex offender Christian Brueckner, spent time in the area between 2000 and 2017.
Investigators believe the 45-year-old killed Madeleine, who was three, after she was abducted from a holiday apartment.
Brueckner, who has denied involvement in the child’s disappearance, was identified as a suspect by Portuguese officials in June 2020.
He is facing charges in Germany for a number of separate sex offenses allegedly committed in Portugal at the time.
German authorities are expected to release a statement about the search on Tuesday.
Images of Portuguese officers walking along dry paths near the reservoir and sealing off areas with police tape emerged on Monday.
This is not the first time the reservoir has been searched.
In 2008, Portuguese lawyer Marcos Aragao Correia paid for specialist divers to examine the waterway after he claimed to have been informed by criminal contacts that Madeleine’s body was in the reservoir.
The most recent search in Portugal in relation to her disappearance was in 2014, when British police were given permission to search the scrubland near where she disappeared.
Earlier this month, Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry released a short statement on their Find Madeleine Campaign website to mark the anniversary of her disappearance.
They said: “Today marks the 16th anniversary of Madeleine’s abduction.
“It’s still missing… I still miss it so much.
“It’s hard to find the words to express our feelings.
“The police investigation is ongoing, and we await a breakthrough.”
Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 May 2023 07:42
Watch: Madeleine McCann campaign shares video on missing woman’s 20th birthday
The Madeleine McCann campaign shared the video on the missing woman’s 20th birthday
Andy Gregory22 May 2023 21:56
When was Brueckner first involved in Madeleine’s disappearance?
The case of Madeline McCann lay dormant for years before suddenly bursting back to life in June 2020 when German media revealed that Christian Brueckner, a 43-year-old prisoner with a track record of abusing child and drug trafficking, identified as a new suspect. by the prosecutor of the city of Braunschweig in Germany.
He was reportedly living in a Volkswagen camper van in the Algarve at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance and a woman came forward to suggest she saw a girl who might be Madeleine speaking German in a supermarket in Portugal in 2017.
German investigators classified their probe into her movements as a murder investigation, saying they were working on the presumption that Madeleine had died and reported in July 2021 that they had found an abandoned cellar under his former part near Hanover where he could, in theory, be held captive.
Hans Christian Wolters, the prosecutor leading the Brueckner investigation, said he was “very confident” that the prisoner was responsible for his kidnapping. “If you know the evidence we have, you will come to the same conclusion as I did but I can’t give you details because we don’t want the accused to know what we have on him – these are tactical considerations ,” he said. the BBC.
Brueckner was formally made “arguido” in connection with the case on 21 April 2022.
My partner Joe Sommerlad there’s more on this timeline about Madeleine’s disappearance:
Andy Gregory22 May 2023 21:25
Video report: Police investigate Madeleine McCann’s disappearance ‘in search of reservoir’
Police investigate Madeleine McCann’s disappearance ‘in search of reservoir’
Andy Gregory22 May 2023 20:59
New: Portuguese police issue statement confirming search
Portugal’s judicial police issued a new statement officially confirming that a search is set to take place.
It says: “In light of the news that has been made public, the Judicial Police confirms that steps are being taken to fully clarify the situation regarding the investigation into the disappearance of an English child, which occurred in the Algarve last 2007.
“Within the scope of international cooperation, in the next few days in the Algarve region, new searches will be carried out, coordinated by the Judicial Police, at the request of the German Authorities (BKA) and the presence of the British Authorities.
“Information will be provided in due course on the outcome of the proceedings.”
Andy Gregory22 May 2023 20:23
The German prosecutor claims to have found ‘evidence’ in the prime suspect’s van
This time last year, lead investigator Hans-Christian Wolters claimed to have found evidence in Christian Brueckner’s camping van that could potentially link him to Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.
He told the Portuguese TV show Saturday in May: “We found new facts and new evidence. This is not forensic evidence but evidence.”
When asked about the rumors that the child’s pajama fibers were found inside the German campervan, the prosecutor said: “I will not comment on the details of the investigation.”
But pressed by the host Sandra Felgueiras, who asked: “But you can’t deny it”, Mr Wolters answered: “I don’t want to deny it”, later adding: “Because the suspect has not been informed.”
Brueckner has never been charged in connection with Madeleine’s disappearance and has always denied any involvement.
Andy Gregory22 May 2023 19:54
Separate rape allegations against Brueckner were dropped last month
In allegations not directly linked to the Madeleine McCann case, German prosecutors said last year they had charged Christian Brueckner with several sexual offenses they believe he committed in Portugal between 28 December 2000, and 11 June 2017.
He was due to be tried for an alleged rape in Portugal, but his lawyer said last month that a court in the city of Braunschweig dismissed the case, Image newspaper report.
The case was reportedly dropped after a German court said it had no jurisdiction over it.
Andy Gregory22 May 2023 19:22
Divers search reservoir year after Madeleine’s disappearance following ‘criminal tip-off’
This is not the first time that the reservoir – one of the few in the Algarve – has been searched.
In 2008 Portuguese lawyer Marcos Aragao Correia paid for specialist divers to examine the waterway after he admitted being told by criminal contacts that his body was in the reservoir.
The most recent search in Portugal related to Madeleine’s disappearance was in 2014, when British police were given permission to search the scrubland near where she disappeared.
Andy Gregory22 May 2023 18:50
Pictures show Portuguese authorities gathered near the Arade dam
Here are several images that emerged from the site of the anticipated search:
Andy Gregory22 May 2023 18:22
Madeleine McCann’s sister has spoken publicly for the first time
Just two weeks ago, Madeleine McCann’s sister spoke publicly for the first time since her brother’s disappearance 16 years ago.
At a vigil to mark the anniversary, Amelie, now 18, said: “It’s great to have everyone here together but it’s a sad occasion.”
The informal prayer meeting, attended by about 70 people, took place at the family home in Rothley in Leicestershire on Wednesday evening. Parents Kate and Gerry McCann attended, although Sean, Amelie’s twin brother, did not.
They wrote: “Today marks the 16th anniversary of Madeleine’s abduction. It’s not enough.. it’s still very lonely. It’s hard to find the words to express our feelings.”
Andy Gregory22 May 2023 17:57