The German, Portuguese and English authorities began new searches on Tuesday at a dam in Portugal, to advance the investigation into the 2007 disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann. Several police officers toured the banks of the Arade reservoir, some 50 km from the place where “Maddie” disappeared in southern Portugal, with the help of a search dog and a local fire brigade.
These operations “are currently underway in Portugal,” said a statement from the Brunswick prosecutor’s office (northern Germany), in charge of the case. The German justice system did not give more details about the searches in this case, one of the biggest criminal enigmas in recent years. The Portuguese police indicated in a statement that “efforts continue to fully clarify the situation.”
The renewed search is being carried out at the request of the German authorities and is likely related to photographs of the Arade Reservoir found at Brueckner’s hideout.
On May 3, 2007, Madeleine disappeared shortly before her fourth birthday, at a beach resort in Praia da Luz, in the tourist region of the Algarve where she was vacationing with her family. The Portuguese media indicated that the police already combed the reservoir in 2008, but the divers only found animal remains.
German Christian Bruecknera repeat pedophile, has been the main suspect in his disappearance since 2020. The investigation was stalled for years before the authorities took notice of this man, who lived a few kilometers from the hotel at the time. The Brunswick public prosecutor’s office has since carried out its own investigation, collaborating with the Portuguese and German authorities.
The Portuguese weekly magazine Expresso said the suspect regularly spent time near the reservoir, just outside the small town of Silves. Christian Brueckner is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence in Germany for the rape of a 72-year-old American woman. He was also accused of five other crimes and sexual offenses committed between 2000 and 2017 in Portugal.
The disappearance of “Maddie” gave rise to an exceptional campaign in which photos of the little girl, with light eyes and brown hair, went around the world. Police with sniffer dogs continued their search for the British girl 16 years ago on Wednesday.
With information from Reuters | dm