in Portugal, new excavations 16 years later

MISCELLANEOUS – 16 years later, research resumes. The German, Portuguese and English authorities launched this Tuesday, May 23 in the south of Portugal new excavations near a dam to try to advance the investigation into the resounding disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann.

Aided by a tracker dog and a local fire boat, several police officers surveyed the parched banks of the Arade reservoir, as you can see on the video at the top of this article, located in the municipality of Silves, in the hinterland of the Algarve.

The German public prosecutor’s office in charge of the case confirmed that operations “are currently underway in Portugal” in the context of this affair, which constitutes one of the greatest enigmas criminal of recent years.

Maddie went missing in May 2007

This is news “research” carried out with the support of the German judicial police, the public prosecutor’s office in Brunswick, in the north ofGermany. The evening before, the Portuguese judicial police had announced that “new excavations” were going “be carried out in the coming days, at the request of the German authorities” et “in the presence of the English authorities”.

“The steps are continuing with a view to a total clarification of the situation” around the disappearance of the little « Maddie »in May 2007, while she was vacationing with her family in the seaside resort of Praia da Luz, police in the Iberian country said in a statement.

The area, located about fifty kilometers from Praia da Luz, had already been searched in 2008, including by divers who had found only remains ofanimalsaccording to local media.

A suspect charged

Last year, the Portuguese public prosecutor’s office decided to indict a new suspect as part of its cooperation with the English and German authorities: the German Christian Brueckner, a repeat pedophile who had lived for several years in the Algarve and who, according to Portuguese media, regularly visited the Arade dam.

This man, who is serving a prison sentence for the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old American woman in Portugal, was identified by German investigators in 2020 as the main suspect of the murder of the British girl.

Then almost four years old, Madeleine McCann had disappeared from her room at the hotel complex in Praia da Luz, a small seaside resort in the Algarve region, on May 3, 2007, while her parents were having dinner with friends in a neighboring restaurant.

No progress in the case until 2020

Her disappearance had given rise to an exceptional international campaign led by her parents to try to find her. After 14 months of controversial investigations, marked in particular by the indictment and then the exoneration of the parents, the Portuguese justice had dismissed the case in 2008, before reopening the file five years later because of the appearance of “new elements”.

After spending two years studying the file, the United Kingdom officially opened its own investigation in July 2013. The Portuguese authorities reopened the case soon after. However, the case then did not see any real progress until June 2020, when the Brunswick prosecutor’s office said it was certain that the girl was dead and that the main suspect was then in detention in the north of the country. Germany for another matter.

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