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Crime News Missing Persons

Police Analyzing "Items" Found At Portuguese Dam in Search for Madeleine McCann

“It is not yet possible to say whether some of the items are actually related to the Madeleine McCann case,” the Braunschweig Public Prosecutor’s Office said.

By Dorian Geiger
5 Things to Know About the Madeleine McCann Case

Police have recovered a “number of items” following a search for new possible clues related to the high-profile disappearance of Madeleine McCann more than 16 years ago.

Portuguese authorities collected several undisclosed possible evidentiary items after spending three days scouring the Arade dam reservoir in south Portugal last week for any signs of the missing British toddler. The items are now being analyzed by investigators, according to German officials, who assisted Portuguese officials in the latest search efforts.

RELATED: German Court Drops Sex Crimes Trial Against Jailed Madeleine McCann Suspect

Search teams utilized sniffer dogs, boats, and heavy duty machinery equipment to carry out the investigation.

“The search operation carried out last week in the area of the Arade reservoir in Portugal ended on Thursday after three days as planned,” the Braunschweig Public Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement, Sky News reported.

The search was carried out at the request of German investigators. The Arade dam reservoir is about 30 miles southwest of Praia da Luz, the seaside resort town where McCann disappeared from while vacationing with her family from the United Kingdom in 2007. 

Cars outside being dismantled.

“A previously precisely defined area along the reservoir was completely searched for possible evidence,” the statement from the prosecutor's office continued. “A number of items were seized as part of the operation. These will be evaluated in the coming days and weeks."

RELATED: Polish Woman Issues Apology To Madeleine McCann’s Parents After Claiming To Be Missing Girl

Investigators, however, were quick to caution that it remains unknown if any of the recovered materials are linked to the McCann case at all. 

“It is not yet possible to say whether some of the items are actually related to the Madeleine McCann case,” the Braunschweig Public Prosecutor’s Office said.

Police officers arriving to search for remains.

German prosecutors announced in 2020 that they suspected McCann was no longer alive. Last month marked the 16th anniversary of her disappearance. Her family said in a statement in May that they still "await a breakthrough" in the case, the BBC reported.

"We thank all officers who participated in the search,” added the statement from the prosecutor's office. “The co-operation between the Portuguese police, the British officers and the German federal police was outstanding and very constructive.”

RELATED: DNA Test Results Confirm Polish Woman Isn't Madeleine McCann

The current most credible suspect in McCann’s disappearance is 46-year-old convicted child sex predator, Christian Brückner.

Brückner is currently serving a 7-year prison sentence in Germany for raping a 72-year-old woman at the Praia da Luz resort area in 2005. Last month, a German court dropped a separate sex crimes case against Brückner, who was facing a range of rape charges in Portugal between 2000 and 2017. He denies any involvement in McCann’s disappearance.

Madeleine Mccann Pd

German detectives this week said their probing of Brückner’s possible ties to the case would "continue for some time." The latest search at the Arade reservoir was connected to their investigation into Brückner, per Sky News. Brückner was believed to have frequented the area with a Volkswagen T3 camper van he owned, according to the BBC.  

It’s not the first time, however, that the Arade dam reservoir has drawn attention in the McCann case. In 2008, Portuguese lawyer Marcos Aragao Correia funded a dive search of the site in an attempt to locate any signs of the toddler, The Sun reported.