Maddie case: excavations continue in southern Portugal
Portuguese, German and British investigators, responsible for the investigation into the mysterious disappearance of little Madeleine McCann, began their second day of research on the shores of a lake in southern Portugal on Wednesday.
After having used tracking dogs and probes the day before to rake certain portions of land, the police also used a drone, AFP journalists noted on the spot.
These new searches were launched on Tuesday at the request of the German authorities, who have said since 2020 that they are convinced that the British girl is dead and carry their suspicions on a German multi-recidivist sexual assaulter already imprisoned in Germany for a rape in Portugal.
In addition to police officers from the three countries concerned, the operation mobilized gendarmes, firefighters and civil protection agents near the Arade dam, located about fifty kilometers from the place of Maddie's disappearance.< /p>
On Tuesday, investigators surveyed the parched banks of this lake located in Silves, a town in the hinterland of the Algarve tourist region until the rain began to fall at the end of the day.
The Portuguese judicial police announced on Monday that “new excavations” would be carried out “in the coming days”, but have not communicated since.
According to information contradictory reports reported by local media, the operation could end on Wednesday or extend until Thursday.
On Tuesday, investigators reportedly collected several shreds of fabric found at the scene, but no link could yet be established with the case.
According to the Popular Portuguese daily Correio da Manha, usually knowledgeable from local law enforcement sources, said officers are believed to be looking for a pink blanket or the pajamas Maddie was wearing on the night of her disappearance on May 3, 2007, shortly before her fourth birthday.
The girl was vacationing with her family in the resort town of Praia da Luz when she disappeared from her room at a resort while her parents were having dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant.
Her parents, a couple of British doctors, then launched an exceptional international campaign to try to find her, but the case remains one of the biggest criminal enigmas of recent years.
The research site had already been searched in 2008, including by divers who had only found animal remains. Also according to local media, the German suspect went there regularly and described the place as his “little paradise”.
This man, who is serving a prison sentence in Germany for the rape of a 72-year-old American in 2005 in Portugal, was identified in 2020 by German investigators as Christian Brueckner, a repeat pedophile who lived for several years in the Algarve.