Madeleine McCann went missing 16 years ago
Madeleine McCann (Image via Twitter)

Police officers are digging near a reservoir in Portugal in the long-running investigation of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The Arade dam is situated 50km away from where the British toddler went missing in Praia da Luz while on a family trip 16 years ago.

According to BBC, the German police began the search operation to look for evidence to link her disappearance to Christian Brueckner. In 2022, Portuguese prosecutors made the 45-year-old German national a formal suspect in the Madeleine McCann missing case.

Why are police searching for Madeleine McCann after 16 years?

The suspect Christian Brueckner allegedly visited the picturesque reservoir around the time Madeleine went missing. She would be 20 years now. German state prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters said the authorities “have grounds to believe that we could find evidence in the reservoir,” to regional news outlet NDR.

  • However, the officials haven’t revealed the clues behind the base of their search. In a separate statement to the TV channel RTL, prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters shared that he could not “give any concrete information.”
  • He did clarify that they’re not working on tips from the accused and reassured that police don’t start searching somewhere on the off chance, so they do have a good reason behind it.

The progress of Madeleine McCann’s search

Police search reservoir for Madeleine McCann after 16 years
Police tents around the reservoir (Image via Twitter)

Police reportedly used sniffer dogs used in a search of the reservoir’s banks, and police officers went to search the waters on an inflatable boat. Uniformed and plain-clothed officers spent several hours searching surrounding land, using pickaxes and inspecting small rocks with rakes and spades.

  • Emergency services and officials from Portugal, Germany, and the UK discussed the search next to the blue police tents at the site. Media notes that police collected several bags from the search area but haven’t disclosed what they contain. As per reports, the police plan to search four areas of interest this week.
  • The Metropolitan Police also confirmed that their officers are in Portugal so they can inform Madeleine McCann’s family of any developments. Home Office made the search possible by granting an extra $136,639 (£110,000) in funding for Madeleine McCann’s case.

Previously, Portuguese lawyer Marcos Aragao Correia paid specialist divers to check the reservoir after a potential tip-off.

Will she be found 16 years later?

Madeleine McCann, from Leicestershire, was three years old when she went missing on May 3, 2007. She was on holiday with her family in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz. Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, had gone for dinner with friends at a resort leaving Madeleine and her younger siblings sleeping in their apartment.

  • The adults were planning to check on all of the group’s children in rotation during the evening. However, Kate discovered Madeleine wasn’t in the room during her turn and reported the case to the police. Prosecutor Wolters suspects Christian Brueckner, over a growing amount of evidence.

  • The said evidence includes his mobile phone records showing he was in the Praia de Luz area at the time of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance. Although, Brueckner has denied all the allegations.

He is currently in a German prison for the rape of a 72-year-old woman in 2005 which also occurred in the same area where Madeleine McCann went missing. He is also accused of being a pedophile adding an angle to the McCann case.

  • Additionally, the accused was living near the Praia da Luz resort when the McCann family visited on holiday and spent time in the area between 2000 and 2017.

The recent search for Madeleine McCann reignited hope of solving the case after 16 years, but much is yet to be known about the case to be resolved.

For more content, stay with us here at Spiel Times. Make sure you subscribe to our push notifications and never miss an update. You can also follow us on Spiel AnimeTwitterInstagram, and YouTube. Until next time!

Kairavi Pandya is a Senior Writer at Spiel Times. She has a fascination with cinema, multi-generational literature, and old-school Kpop. In her spare time, she likes to learn choreographies and catch up with healing K-dramas. She is also pursuing her undergrad degree.