Where Madeleine McCann search reservoir is in relation to her hotel as police begin hunt | World | News

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German police currently hunting for Madeleine McCann‘s body are set to start a major new search, roughly a 45-minute drive away from where Madeleine first went missing. Barragem do Arade reservoir is a remote man-made dam in the Algarve, Portugal where suspect Christian Brueckner used to visit. Scotland Yard detectives are said to be set to have travelled to the location but have only been given a “watching brief”.

It is understood that British detectives travelled to the area but only with a “watching brief”.

The new search is tipped to last at least two days and could go beyond that if anything relevant is found.

A peninsula just over a mile long jutting into the reservoir was sealed off just after midday on Monday (22 May).

Several local council lorries were spotted on the piece of land as tents and other structures were erected.

Behind them in another area just under a mile away Portuguese Civil Protection workers were seen setting up a large blue tent alongside police who had mounted their own blue tent.

An onlooker said: “There are around two dozen Policia Judiciaria officers who seem to be supervising things at this stage.”

There was no obvious sign of any German police on Monday although they are due in the area later.

The search at Barragem do Arade reservoir is set to 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 – using sniffer dogs trained in detecting bodies and ground-penetrating radar. 

A lorry driver who was at the dam two days after Madeleine went missing from the McCann’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz says he spotted a woman handling a child-like Madeleine McCann

Investigators searched the dam in February and March 2008 by divers hired by the lawyer Marcos Aragao Correia.

Gerry and Kate said there is no evidence suggesting any link between their daughter and the reservoir.

Portuguese officials have not yet made any official comment surrounding the launch of the search.

It was not immediately clear what had prompted this week’s operation, and whether it was hastily arranged after police in

Germany received a new tip-off or had been organised over time as prosecutors there continue to try to build up a picture of sole suspect Christian Brueckner’s life on the Algarve and the places he frequented.

One well-placed source described it as a German-led operation which was being coordinated with the help of Portuguese police and was linked to information the authorities had gleaned pointing to regular trips Brueckner had made to the dam.

The insider said: “Portuguese police will offer logistical support but the initiative is German and they were the ones that requested the work that is going to take place this week.

“Scotland Yard officers are due to travel to Portugal but theirs will be a watching brief.”

Earlier this month Kate and Gerry posted a poignant tribute to mark their daughter’s 20th birthday, telling her: “We love you and we’re waiting for you. We’re never going to give up.”

They added: “Happy Birthday Madeleine. Still missing. Still very much missed. Still looking. For as long as it takes.”

The message on the official Find Maddie Campaign Facebook page accompanied a cherished last photo of her as a three-year-old, beaming in a pink sunhat and clutching tennis balls.

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