On the second day of a renewed investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, who was three years old at the time, heavy machinery and sniffer dogs were deployed.
The search focused on various areas near the Arade dam, approximately 30 miles away from the Praia da Luz resort where the young British girl vanished from her bed 16 years ago. Media reports had mentioned one of these locations as a place frequently visited by the primary suspect.
A team consisting of approximately 30 Portuguese, German, and British police officers participated in the search, which was conducted based on a tip provided by German authorities.
“We have indications that we could find evidence there,” Braunschweig prosecutor Christian Wolters told German public broadcaster NDR. “I don’t want to say what that is exactly, and I also don’t want to say where these indications come from.”
“The only thing that I would clarify is that it doesn’t come from the suspect — so we don’t have a confession or anything similar now, or an indication from the suspect of where it would make sense to search,” Wolters said, according to The Associated Press. “It was other indications that prompted us to conduct this search.”
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The current search for the girl in Portugal marks the fourth attempt to find her. The initial search took place in 2007 immediately after her disappearance, followed by two more searches conducted in 2013 and 2014. Additionally, a search was carried out in Germany in 2020, as reported by the AP.
In this latest search, heavy machinery was utilized to clear vegetation, including trees and bushes, in the designated area near the shores of the Arade reservoir. The search operation was expected to continue until Thursday.
Madeleine went missing during a family vacation while her parents were dining nearby, intermittently checking on her and her 2-year-old twin siblings as they slept. She vanished between 9 and 10 p.m. that evening, triggering an international search effort.