Madeleine McCann

Divers searching for Madeleine McCann probe the Barragem do Arade reservoir in Portugal for the 3rd day as they look for the pink pyjamas the toddler was wearing when she vanished.

The first major search for Madeleine McCann in a decade is expected to last a third day, with Portuguese and German police digging into the wooded banks of an Algarve reservoir.

The operation, which is located 30 miles from where the then three-year-old went missing in 2007, was supposed to conclude on Wednesday, but sources close to the investigation indicated that another day would be required.

There has been no official confirmation.

Throughout Wednesday, trimmers and chainsaws were used to clear land that had yet to be dug, and officers were seen taking bags from a peninsula jutting into the Barragem do Arade reservoir, where the investigation has been focused.

German police had requested the operation at the reservoir after they allegedly discovered photos of convicted rapist Christian Brückner at his self-described “little paradise” near the town of Silves.

Brückner, who was sentenced in 2019 for raping a 72-year-old American tourist a mile from where Madeleine went missing, was named as a suspect, or arguido, by Portuguese police last year in connection with Madeleine’s disappearance from her parents’ holiday apartment in the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz on the evening of 4 May 2007.

Hans Christian Wolters, a spokesperson for the Braunschweig state prosecution, which is leading the investigation, told German broadcaster NDR on Wednesday that Brückner was not assisting them in their search.

“We have indications that we could find evidence there,” he said. I actually don’t want to say what that is. I also don’t want to say where these hints come from. The only thing I’d like to point out is that this does not come from the accused himself.

“That is to say, we have no confession or anything of the sort [from him].” Sadly, it is also not the case that it is a tip from the accused as to where we should search. Rather, it is other clues that have prompted us to conduct this search. I can’t say much more right now.”

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