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Madeleine McCann news – latest: Police warn against hope after reservoir search results

Large section of Barragem do Arade reservoir was cordoned off in May, about 30 miles from where three-year-old Madeleine went missing in Praia da Luz 16 years ago

Tara Cobham
Monday 10 July 2023 14:00 BST
Holes up to 2ft deep were dug up in the reservoir search, in the hope of unearthing clothing fibres, local media reported

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Police officers who scoured a reservoir in Portugal in the search for Madeleine McCann have warned against hope as they hit a fresh roadblock in their investigation.

A large section of the Barragem do Arade reservoir was cordoned off in May, about 30 miles from where three-year-old Madeleine went missing in Praia da Luz 16 years ago.

It is believed that the main suspect in the case, convicted sex offender Christian Brueckner, regularly visited the reservoir’s peninsula and had described it as a “little slice of paradise”.

But detectives searching the reservoir have now said there is “no compelling evidence” Madeleine is there.

Holes up to 2ft deep were dug up in the reservoir search, in the hope of unearthing clothing fibres, local media reported.

But despite initial hope, German public prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters told newspaper Bild: “Please don’t expect too much.”

This comes after a former friend of Brueckner, Helge Busching, claimed that the jailed paedophile had told him “she didn’t scream” during a conversation about the missing three-year-old.

He told Bild he revealed the crucial information to Scotland Yard in 2008 but was ignored.

Where are Madeleine McCann’s family now?

The case of Madeleine McCann, the British toddler who disappeared from a Portuguese holiday resort 16 years ago, unexpectedly lurched back into life in May 2023 when investigators launched a major search operation at a reservoir in the Algarve.

The girl’s parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, have refused to give up hope, recently posting a poem remembering their lost daughter on their Find Madeleine website, reminding readers that she is “still missing... still very much missed”.

“The police investigation continues, and we await a breakthrough. Thank you to everyone for your support – it really helps,” they added.

Here’s a look at the family, whose lives have been defined by the mystery.

Joe Sommerlad reports:

Sixteen years and countless heartbreaks as Madeleine McCann’s family wait for answers

Parents refuse to give up hope and have spoken movingly about ‘new normality’ of raising twins without their missing daughter, Joe Sommerlad reports

Tara Cobham10 July 2023 14:00

Recap: Watch emergency services searching reservoir

Emergency services begin search for Madeleine McCann in reservoir
Tara Cobham10 July 2023 13:00

Who is Christian Brueckner?

Madeleine McCann’s disappearance has puzzled detectives for more than 15 years – but in 2020 a new potential suspect emerged. Now, police are searching a remote reservoir in Portugal’s the Algarve that he used to visit in a renewed effort to shed further light on the case.

German prisoner Christian Brueckner was first named in connection with the unsolved mystery that summer, and officially named as a suspect last year. His yellow and white VW T3 Westfalia campervan was reportedly identified as having been near to the Praia da Luz resort in Portugal where the young girl went missing on May 3, 2007.

Lucy Skoulding reports:

All we know about Madeleine McCann suspect Brueckner and the accusations against him

German prisoner Christian Brueckner has been identified as a suspect in Madeleine’s case

Tara Cobham10 July 2023 12:00

Madeleine McCann campaign video on 16th anniversary of disappearance

Madeleine Mccann Campaign Shares Video On 16th Anniversary Of Child Going Missing
Tara Cobham10 July 2023 11:00

Recap: Suspect ‘said she didn’t scream’, friend claimed in interview

A key witness who alerted authorities to Madeleine McCann prime suspect Christian Brueckner has claimed that he let slip that she “didn’t scream” when she was kidnapped.

In his first public interview, Helge Busching explained that his former acquaintance appeared to incriminate himself in the disappearance of the three-year-old girl.

Helge said that he learned of Brueckner’s true nature before the disappearance of McCann after he stole some videotapes and a gun from his house.

Holly Evans reports:

Madeleine McCann suspect ‘said she didn’t scream’ when kidnapped, friend claims

Christian Brueckner allegedly alluded to his involvement at a music festival in 2008

Tara Cobham10 July 2023 10:00

Timeline of Madeleine McCann case

Madeleine McCann, a three-year-old girl from Rothley, Leicestershire, was reported missing from the Portuguese holiday resort of Praia da Luz on the Algarve on 3 May 2007, a case still unsolved and still the subject of intense interest among the public and press.

Her parents, Kate McCann and Gerry McCann, posted a statement on the Find Madeleine website on 3 May 2023 marking the latest anniversary of their daughter’s disappearance, reiterating their hopes of being reunited with her one day and posting a poem, “The Contradiction” by Clare Pollard, to express their feelings.

“Today marks the 16th anniversary of Madeleine’s abduction. Still missing... still very much missed,” they wrote.

“The police investigation continues, and we await a breakthrough. Thank you to everyone for your support – it really helps.”

Here is a reminder of the events of the case.

What happened to Madeleine McCann?

What happened to Madeleine McCann?

Tara Cobham10 July 2023 09:00

Detectives searching for Madeleine McCann give update after scouring reservoir

Police officers who scoured a reservoir in Portugal in the search for Madeleine McCann have hit a fresh roadblock in their investigation.

A large section of the Barragem do Arade reservoir was cordoned off in May, about 30 miles from where three-year-old Madeleine went missing in Praia da Luz 16 years ago.

It is believed that the main suspect in the case, convicted sex offender Christian Brueckner, regularly visited the reservoir’s peninsula and had described it as a “little slice of paradise”.

But detectives searching the reservoir have now said there is “no compelling evidence” Madeleine is there, according to The Sun.

Holly Hales reports:

Detectives searching for Madeleine McCann give update after scouring reservoir

Police spent three days searching the reservoir in Portugal

Tara Cobham10 July 2023 08:01

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