The search for answers in the long-standing Madeleine McCann case is set to enter a new phase as detectives prepare to reveal fresh details while scouring a reservoir in Portugal for any clues pertaining to her disappearance.
Despite the upcoming search at the Algarve reservoir near Silves, a source close to Christian Brueckner’s lawyer, the prime suspect in the case, expressed doubt, stating, “They can search all they want. I will be amazed if they find anything.” Brueckner is known to have frequented the reservoir in the past.
Road closures leading to the man-made dam have been anticipated as Portuguese authorities begin preparations for the official commencement of the search.
Scotland Yard detectives have reportedly arrived at the location, with German police expected to join the operation later. German prosecutors have remained tight-lipped about the recent development but are expected to disclose further information on Tuesday.
Insiders familiar with the case have revealed that the search does not stem from any specific lead but is part of the ongoing investigation. The search at the reservoir is expected to span at least two days, with the potential for extension if any relevant evidence is discovered. The reservoir is located approximately 45 minutes from Praia da Luz, the site of Madeleine’s disappearance in 2007 when she was just three years old.
Police tents were observed being erected at the reservoir today, signifying the preparations underway for the search. This operation marks the first major search of its kind since June 2014, when British police were granted permission to conduct digs in Praia da Luz using specially trained sniffer dogs and ground-penetrating radar.
“While we remain confident that we will find an element or piece of evidence that will contribute to solving the case, at present, we are examining various aspects,” shared a source close to the investigation. “We are aware that the main suspect frequented the area, and we have interviewed several witnesses who knew him during that time, confirming his presence.”
The source further emphasised the importance of thoroughly examining all possibilities and acknowledged that, for the time being, no significant breakthroughs had emerged. The lawyer for Christian Brueckner, Friedrich Fulscher, declined to comment on the matter, but a source close to him expressed skepticism regarding the outcome of the search.
The reasons behind this week’s operation remain unclear. It is uncertain whether it was a spontaneous response to a new tip-off received by authorities or a result of long-term planning as part of their ongoing efforts to build a comprehensive profile of Brueckner’s life in the Algarve and his known whereabouts.
According to Portuguese broadcaster SIC, German police sought judicial permission from Portugal to search the dam after designating it as an area of interest. In February and March 2008, divers hired by a Portuguese lawyer had previously conducted two searches of the reservoir, during which they discovered two bags containing small bones, as well as lengths of cord, plastic tape, and a single white cotton sock. However, Portuguese police subsequently determined that the bones were not of human origin due to their size.
Madeleine’s parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, have publicly dismissed claims made by investigator Marcos Aragao Correia, who organised a privately-funded search of the reservoir, stating that there was no evidence linking their daughter to the site.
As the search at the reservoir and surrounding woodland commences, it is hoped that it may provide a breakthrough in the ongoing investigation into Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.
The McCann family continues to hold out hope, posting a heartfelt video on Madeleine’s 20th birthday, reaffirming their love and unwavering determination to find their daughter.