Madeleine McCann detectives will search Algarve reservoir for the missing girl’s body: German police – who believe the child was murdered – say suspect Christian Brueckner often visited the site
- German police will search the man-made dam near Silves in Portugal on Tuesday
- It will be the first major operation of its kind since a dig in Praia da Luz in 2014
German police looking for Madeleine McCann‘s body are about to begin a major search of a remote Algarve reservoir suspect Cristian Brueckner used to visit.
Police in Portugal are soon expected to start closing off roads soon leading to the man-made dam near the town of Silves in southern Portugal ahead of the official start of the search tomorrow.
Scotland Yard detectives are understood to have travelled to the area but only with a ‘watching brief.’
The search is set to last for at least two days and beyond that if anything of relevance is found.
It will be the first major operation of its kind since June 2014 when British police were given permission to dig in Praia da Luz, where Madeleine disappeared, that involved sniffer dogs trained in detecting bodies and ground-penetrating radar.
Handout picture of Madeleine McCann, who went missing in Portugal on May 3 2007
This undated handout image supplied by the Carabinieri Milano shows a police mug shot of Christian Brueckner, a suspect in the disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann
Expert divers are now set to explore the murky depths of the dam around the Barragem do Arade reservoir, but digs will also take place in woodland by the water.
A lorry driver says that he saw a woman handing a child like Madeleine McCann over to a man two days after she went missing from her Praia da Luz holiday apartment on May 3 2007.
It was searched twice in February and March 2008 by divers hired by a Portuguese lawyer.
Marcos Aragao Correia organised the privately-funded operation after claiming he had been tipped off by underworld contacts that Madeleine had been murdered and her body thrown into the reservoir within 48 hours of her disappearance.
Two bags containing small bones were found during the second search after divers had earlier recovered several lengths of cord, some plastic tape and a single white cotton sock.
Portuguese police were alerted following the discovery but subsequently ruled out the possibility the bones were human because of their size.
Last year, suspect Christian Bruckner spoke out for the first time on the case, denying allegations he was involved in her disappearance in a letter seen by MailOnline.
Made an official suspect in the case in April 2022, he stressed that he was ‘not there at the time and that he was not living close to the place [of her disappearance].’
Brueckner, linked to four child murders across Europe since 1996, said: ‘I’m the most-known bad person in the world and I did nothing – well almost nothing.’
He added: ‘I wasn’t kidnapping anybody and of course I wasn’t killing anybody.
‘I’ll go further, I’ll tell you I wasn’t attacking anybody after I was 18.
‘I made some silly mistakes when I was younger but who hasn’t?’
Police will search the reservoir in southern Portugal for the body of Madeleine McCann
German police looking for Madeleine McCann’s body are about to begin a major search of a remote Algarve reservoir suspect Cristian Brueckner used to visit. Pictured: Barragem reservoir in Silves
Madeleine’s parents Gerry and Kate McCann had previously dismissed Mr Correia as a self-publicist and said there was no evidence suggesting any link between their daughter and the reservoir.
It is not thought to have been searched since March 2008 as part of the ongoing investigation into her disappearance.