Police enter Portugal searching again Madeleine McCannthe British three-year-old who disappeared on holiday with his family in 2007.

The active search began on Tuesday in a reservoir around the Arade Dam area, about 50 kilometers from Praia da Luz in southern Portugal where McCann disappeared 16 years ago. The search was requested by German policewho claimed a suspect in the case visited the area around the time McCann disappeared.

German native Christian Brückner was named an “arguido,” meaning suspect, in 2022 after German authorities said “new evidence” Brückner connected with McCann.

During the active search, officials used rakes and pick-like tools to prod the ground next to the dam while other firefighters were observed in a dinghy on the reservoir.

Officials in the Algarve, Portugal, begin the search as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

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Portuguese media said this is the fourth search for McCann, following the first in 2007 in the Algarve area and then two more in 2013 and 2014. Another search was held in Germany in 2020.

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This search is estimated to take two days. It is not the first time the reservoir has been searched in connection with the case.

Referring to the latest house searches, German prosecutor Christian Wolters said on Tuesday that police in Portugal are investigating “on the basis of certain tips.” He did not provide any further information.

Portuguese authorities are working on a new search operation following the disappearance of Madeleine McCann at the Arade Dam, near Praia da Luz, on Tuesday.

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Portuguese, German and British officials are cooperating with the search.

This month marked 16 years since McCann disappeared. Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, released one statement on the anniversary, writing that while their daughter is “still missing,” she is also “still very much missed.”

“The police investigation continues and we await a breakthrough,” the McCanns wrote.

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann

On May 3, 2007, three-year-old McCann disappeared from a hotel room in Praia da Luz, Portugal, while on vacation with her parents. Kate and Gerry McCann were having dinner with friends at a nearby tapas bar and left Madeleine and her two siblings asleep in their bedroom the night she disappeared.

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For over a decade, Portuguese, English and German police forces have cooperated in an effort to locate McCann and her kidnappers.

Her disappearance sparked a nationwide investigation and resulted in an international media frenzy. Over the years, many people online have claimed to have seen McCann. A Polish woman earlier this year said she could be McCann but was proven a phony after a DNA test.

In June 2020, German police said Madeleine is presumed dead but British authorities continue to treat her disappearance as a missing person case.

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Madeleine McCann is presumed dead by German authorities

Last year Brückner, a convicted rapist, was named as a suspect but has not yet been charged in this case. He lived in the Praia da Luz area from 1995 to 2007.

Brückner is serving a seven-year prison sentence for raping a 72-year-old woman in 2005 in the same area where Madeleine disappeared. He has also been convicted of drug abuse.

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It was the first time a formal suspect had been named in the McCann case since Madeleine’s parents were declared such in 2007. They were cleared of suspicion in 2008.

— With files from the Associated Press

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