By Chris King •
Updated: 23 May 2023 • 23:25
Image of Madeleine McCann.
UPDATE: Tuesday, May 23 at 9:10 pm
Portuguese and German detectives have been conducting a search operation today, Tuesday, May 23, at the Barragem do Arade reservoir on Portugal’s Algarve in connection with the Madeleine McCann case.
According to the BBC, police officers were spotted removing ‘a number of bags’ from the remote dam located near the town of Silves.
The news outlet reported inflatable boats being used by the police as they scoured the water while sniffer dogs operated on the banks of the reservoir.
Without divulging any concrete evidence, Hans Christian Wolters, the German state prosecutor, informed NDR that they: “have grounds to believe that we could find evidence there”, referring to the dam.
It is believed that the German prosecutors requested the search, based on new clues involving their chief suspect, the 45-year-old convicted sex offender, Christian Brueckner who is thought to have previously visited the Arade dam.
Maddie went missing in 2007 from the resort of Praia da Luz. which is only 31 miles (50km) away from where the search operation is currently being carried out.
Monday, May 22 at 3:41 pm
A major search operation is to be launched in the Algarve region of Portugal as part of the ongoing effort to locate Madeleine McCann.
Detectives from Germany will join the Portuguese police tomorrow, Tuesday, May 23, and conduct a search in the Barragem do Arade reservoir located near the town of Silves.
Divers will reportedly explore the depths of the dam while wooded areas adjacent to the reservoir will also be subjected to digs.
It is believed that the remote expanse of water was previously visited by Cristian Brueckner, who was named in April 2022 by the Portuguese police as a chief suspect in the disappearance of the British girl.
According to metro.co.uk, the operation is expected to last for two days initially. Should any evidence be uncovered then the search would continue. Roads in the vicinity will be closed off by Portuguese police officers in preparation for the search.
Although detectives from Scotland Yard are said to have also been deployed it is thought they will only be present in an ‘observational’ capacity.
The Barragem do Arade reservoir has already been the location of two previous search operations. Two days after Maddie was reported missing, a lorry driver allegedly claimed to have observed a female handing over a young girl to a man in the area.
A Portuguese lawyer named Marcos Aragao Correia subsequently funded these searches in February and March 2008. After claiming underworld contacts had tipped him off, he organised a team of specialised divers to check under the water.
Although some items were discovered during the second search, small bones that were found in two submerged bags were deemed by the Portuguese police to not be human because of their size.
A white cotton sock was also found, along with plastic tape and several pieces of cord. Mr Correira’s claims were later rejected by Gerry and Kate McCann as those of a man looking for self-promotion.
Maddie went missing in the resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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