UK

Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann “seized a number of items” during last week’s search operation in a Portuguese reservoir.

The latest searches in Portugal were carried out after requests from German investigators.

In June 2020, German police said that they believed Madeleine was dead and that suspect Christian B was likely responsible.

In an update today, the Braunschweig Public Prosecutor’s Office said: “The search operation carried out last week in the area of the Arade reservoir in Portugal ended on Thursday after three days as planned.

“A previously precisely defined area along the reservoir was completely searched for possible evidence.

“A number of items were seized as part of the operation. These will be evaluated in the coming days and weeks.

“It is not yet possible to say whether some of the items are actually related to the Madeleine McCann case.”

The office also thanked police from the UK, Portugal and staff at Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office for “excellent and very constructive” cooperation.

“The investigations conducted here in Braunschweig against the 46-year-old suspect are expected to continue for some time,” the statement added, referring to Christian B.

Officers searched the Arade dam last week, with divers entering the water and examining the surrounding scrubland.

The reservoir is located about 31 miles from where the British toddler went missing in Praia da Luz in the Algarve 16 years ago.

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

The latest search lasted three days and ended on 25 May, with the material collected from the site sent to Germany for testing.

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.

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