Madeleine McCann latest: Police to question 'several people in very near future'

Investigators are searching scrubland in the Algarve in connection with the then three-year-old's disappearance in 2007

Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann reportedly want to speak to "several people" in connection with the case.

According to the BBC, the Portuguese police have said a number of people are likely to be questioned in the “very near future”.

The broadcaster had earlier reported that sources close to them had said that UK police are understood to have issued a request to Portugal’s attorney general earlier this year, asking to speak to three people.

But it is now understood that Portuguese officers will question more than this number.

Police have been scouring scrubland in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz for clues as to the whereabouts of the then three-year-old, who disappeared in May 2007.

On Friday officers in Metropolitan Police uniform were seen studying a flat area of ground at the opposite end of the area which has seen activity over the past week.

Officers could be seen examining the uneven ground inside one marked-out area, which was covered with long grass.

They had previously focused on a hole which had been covered in undergrowth. Forensics officers sifted through soil in large sieves inside a white tent set up to cover the void, which was thought to have been used as a children's den.

An item of clothing, believed to be a man's sock, was removed from the scene but was thought to have been ruled out of the investigation.

 

The search is likely to go into a second week after British police applied to the judiciary to spend an extra seven days there.

On Friday, Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, said they were “encouraged” by the progress being made.

Writing on their Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook page on Thursday night, Gerry and Kate McCann said: “We are kept updated on the on-going work in Portugal and are encouraged by the progress.

“Thank you for continuing to stand by us and supporting our efforts to get Madeleine home.”

They have not travelled to Portugal.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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