Madeleine McCann latest: British police find 'no new evidence' but agree 'more activity'

Scotland Yard said there is a still 'a substantial amount of work' to be completed 

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The Independent Online

British police officers investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have found no evidence relating to her after completing their search of three sites close to where she went missing.

However, Scotland Yard said "more activity has been agreed" and confirmed on Wednesday evening that more will be carried out “shortly”. Further requests are also being compiled and will be submitted to the Portuguese authorities.

Officers have spent over a week investigating areas of interest in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz and are now due to question “several suspects” of interest to the case, according to unconfirmed reports by the BBC.

After police declined to comment about the recent activity in the resort, a statement from Scotland Yard said there was "still a substantial amount of work yet to be completed in the coming weeks and months".


This recent work is part of ensuring that all lines of inquiry are progressed in a systematic manner and covers just the one hypothesis that she was killed and buried locally," the statement said.

"This is the same as would be done in the UK for a murder or high risk missing person inquiry."

It described the deployment to Portugal over the past few weeks as the "largest ever undertaken by UK police overseas in a case of this type", with a total of 645,000 square feet of land searched, including all utilities, drainage channels and derelict buildings.

Police said the decision to search the scrubland which lies close to the Ocean Club resort where Madeleine went missing from an apartment aged three in May 2007, along with the two other sites investigated today, was a specific result of the UK's investigation work to date.

British officers, accompanied by their Portuguese counterparts, spent seven days carrying out a methodical search of the first site last week.

Specialist teams including forensics officers, sniffer dogs and officers using ground-penetrating radar equipment were used on the large site, with the two areas searched today being smaller and on the outskirts of the town.

The Portuguese have also reopened their inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance but, while they are working with the UK force, have refused to establish an official joint investigation.

The searches have seen Operation Grange police officers working alongside specialists from around the UK including Sussex Police and South Wales Police, along with the Portuguese Policia Judicial and Guarda Nacional Republicana.

Additional reporting by Press Association