Police investigating disappearance of Madeleine McCann ‘to search reservoir’

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Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are preparing to search in and near a reservoir in Portugal, according to multiple reports.

An area near the Barragem do Arade reservoir, around 50km from Praia da Luz where Madeleine went missing in 2007, is being sealed off as German police prepare to start searching on Tuesday, Portuguese news website SIC reported.

It said that the prime 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, then aged three, after abducting her from a holiday apartment.

Missing Madeleine McCann
Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann have campaigned to keep their daughter’s disappearance in the public eye for 16 years (John Stillwell/PA)

He is facing charges in Germany over a number of separate sex offences allegedly committed in Portugal during that time.

Both Portuguese and British police officers will be present while the search by German investigators is carried out, SIC said.

German authorities have not commented but it is understood they will release a brief press statement about the search on Tuesday morning.

Images of Portuguese officers walking along dry tracks near the reservoir and sealing off areas with police tape began emerging on Monday afternoon.

It is not the first time that the reservoir has been searched.

Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann (PA)

The most recent search in Portugal in relation to Madeleine’s disappearance was in 2014, when British police were given permission to examine scrubland near where she vanished.

Earlier this month, Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry issued a short statement on their Find Madeleine Campaign website to mark the 16th anniversary of her disappearance.

They said: “Today marks the 16th anniversary of Madeleine’s abduction.

“Still missing… still very much missed.

“It is hard to find the words to convey how we feel.

“The police investigation continues, and we await a breakthrough.”

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