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Madeleine McCann Search Continues

British police confirmed this week that they have officers present in Portugal observing the new search for missing British child, Madeleine McCann.  In addition, they are also there to keep the family informed of any developments.

London’s Metropolitan Police Chief Inspector Mark Cranwell said the force “continues to work with and support their colleagues in Portugal and Germany in their investigations into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.” He thanked “the Judicial Police and the Bundeskriminalamt” for allowing the British police “to be present during their investigations.”

Searches related to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, 16 years ago, began this week at the Arade dam in Silves, located in the Faro district, involving dozens of agents.

Operations were suspended on the second day of searches, shortly after 18:00, due to bad weather. During the day, dozens of officers searched tirelessly supported by local firefighters and a diving team.  Reports suggested that as yet, no underwater investigations have been undertaken.

The searches are being carried out by the Judiciary Police and accompanied by German and English authorities, following a European Investigation Order addressed by the German authorities to Portugal.

The site has reportedly been identified as being frequented by Christian Brueckner, whom German investigators believe is a prime suspect in the disappearance and alleged murder of the British child.

Christian Brueckner, 45, is serving time in Kiel (Germany) for another crime. He was also charged in October last year by the German courts with three counts of rape and two counts of sexual abuse of children in Portuguese territory, allegedly committed between 2000 and 2017.

The suspect has denied any involvement in the case.

The British police have been running an open investigation since 2011, entitled “Operation Grange”, funded by the Home Office and which has already cost about 13 million pounds (15 million euros at the current exchange rate).

The operations are being accompanied by dozens of journalists from various countries, such as Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, and New Zealand, and take place in an area previously delimited by the authorities and with restricted access to investigators.

Madeleine McCann disappeared on the 3rd of May 2007, just before her fourth birthday, while with her parents and siblings in Praia da Luz.

Samantha Gannon

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