UK

The search of a reservoir by police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann will begin this morning.

Officers will begin working within hours at the Arade dam, which is located about 31 miles (50km) from where the British toddler went missing in Praia da Luz in the Algarve, 16 years ago.

British police will also be present during the search, according to Portuguese media reports.

Vehicles and officers were seen at the site of the reservoir on Monday after reports of the new search emerged.

The investigation of the site reportedly comes at the request of German police, who announced in June 2020 that they believed Madeleine was dead and that suspect Christian B was likely responsible.

It is claimed the convicted child abuser and drug dealer used to visit the reservoir.

Christian B is currently in prison for raping a 72-year-old woman in the same area of the Algarve region from where Madeleine went missing, but has not been charged with any crime related to the disappearance.

He has always denied any involvement.

The waterway was previously searched in 2008 after Portuguese lawyer Marcos Aragao Correia paid for specialist divers to check the site.

He claimed to have been tipped off by criminal contacts that Madeleine’s body was in the reservoir, but nothing was found.

A search was also carried out in 2014 of scrubland near where she vanished, after British police were given permission to investigate by Portuguese authorities.

A German court last month threw out additional rape and sexual offence charges against Christian B that were not linked to the McCann case.

He had been accused of three offences of aggravated rape and two offences of sexual abuse of children in Portugal between December 2000 and June 2017.

However, the court in Braunschweig ruled it had no jurisdiction in the case.

Lawyer Friedrich Fulscher said the decision meant court authorities could not have jurisdiction over any potential case about Madeleine either. The court did not comment on his claim.

Madeleine was three years old when she went missing in 2007 during a holiday with her family.

Last year, on the 15th anniversary of her disappearance, Madeleine’s parents said it was “essential” to learn the truth of what happened to their daughter.

Kate and Gerry McCann also marked Madeleine’s 20th birthday earlier this month with a vow that they would “never give up” the search for her.

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