New search for Madeleine McCann, UK toddler missing since 2007, Portuguese police confirm
LISBON (AP) — Portuguese police have said they will resume searching for Madeleine McCann, the British toddler who disappeared in the country’s Algarve region in 2007, in the next few days.
Portugal’s Judicial Police released a statement confirming local media reports that they would conduct the search at the request of the German authorities and in the presence of British officials.
Earlier on Monday, police were seen erecting tents and cordons in an area by the Arade dam, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Praia da Luz, where the 3-year-old was last seen alive.
British, Portuguese and German police are still piecing together what happened when the toddler disappeared from her bed in the southern Portuguese resort on May 3, 2007. She was in the same room as her 2-year-old twin brother and sister while her parents had dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant.
In mid-2020, Germany’s police identified Christian Brueckner, a 45-year-old German citizen who was in the Algarve in 2007, as a suspect in the case. Brueckner has denied any involvement.
The suspect is under investigation on suspicion of murder in the McCann case but hasn’t been charged. He spent many years in Portugal, including in Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.
Prosecutors in the northern German city of Braunschweig in October have charged Brueckner in several separate cases involving sexual offenses allegedly committed in Portugal between 2000 and 2017.
Braunschweig prosecutor Christian Wolter said Monday his office would release a statement about the case on Tuesday morning.
Madeleine’s disappearance stirred worldwide interest, with public claims of having spotted her stretching as far away as Australia, along with a slew of books and television documentaries about the case.
Rewards for finding Madeleine reached several million dollars.