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Portugal police end final search for missing British girlExBulletin

Portugal police end final search for missing British girlExBulletin


Police search teams prepare to leave an operations tent near Barragem do Arade, Portugal, Wednesday, May 24, 2023.

Joao Matos/AP

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João Matos/AP

Police search teams prepare to leave an operations tent near Barragem do Arade, Portugal, Wednesday, May 24, 2023.

Joao Matos/AP

LISBON, Portugal Police in Portugal have ended their latest search for clues about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the British child who disappeared in 2007 in southern Portugal.

Authorities did not release details about the search results Thursday. A statement from Portugal’s Judicial Police said some material had been collected and would be handed over to German authorities for examination.

The search around a dam about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the resort of Praia da Luz, where the 3-year-old girl was last seen 16 years ago, began on Tuesday following a request from German authorities.

A German who is a suspect in this case is currently in prison in Germany for another case.

Portuguese, German and British police took part in the three-day operation during which detectives searched the shores of the Arade reservoir and also used sniffer dogs and a drone.

German prosecutor Christian Wolters told The Associated Press on Thursday that authorities will assess the success of the search after it ends, adding that a statement could be issued next week.

Portuguese media said this was the fourth police search for McCann, following an initial one in 2007 in the southern Algarve area and further efforts in 2013 and 2014. Another search was held in Germany in 2020.

The reservoir is less than half full due to a drought that has affected neighboring Portugal and Spain. The search would be below the water line under normal rainfall.

In mid-2020, German officials said a 45-year-old German national, identified by the media as Christian Brueckner, who was in the Algarve in 2007, was a suspect in the case. Brueckner has denied any involvement.

Brueckner is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence in Germany for raping a 72-year-old woman in Portugal in 2005.

He is under investigation on suspicion of murder in the McCann case, but has not been charged. He spent many years in Portugal, including in Praia da Luz, around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.

Madeleine McCann’s case sparked worldwide interest for several years, with reports of her sightings reaching as far as Australia, along with a slew of books and television documentaries about the case.

British, Portuguese and German police are still piecing together what happened the night the toddler disappeared from her bed in the southern Portuguese resort on May 3, 2007. She was in the same room as her twin brother and sister, who were 2 years old at the time, while her parents had dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant.

Madeleine’s parents did not comment because of the active investigation, according to an emailed response from the website set up to search for the child,




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