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Madeleine McCann: Portuguese authorities continue search for missing toddler


LISBON (AP) — Portuguese police have said they will resume the search for Madeleine McCann, the missing British toddler in the Algarve region of the country in 2007, in the coming days.

Portugal’s judicial police released a statement confirming local media reports that they will conduct the search at the request of German authorities and in the presence of British officials.

Earlier on Monday, police were seen setting up tents and cordons in an area near the Arade Dam, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Praia da Luz, where the 3-year-old was last seen alive.

British, Portuguese and German police are still puzzling out what happened when the toddler disappeared from her bed at the southern Portuguese resort on May 3, 2007. She was in the same room as her 2-year-old twin brother and sister while her parents had dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant.

In mid-2020, German police identified Christian Brueckner, a 45-year-old German who was in the Algarve in 2007, as a suspect in the case. Brueckner has denied any involvement.

The suspect is being investigated on suspicion of murder in the McCann case, but has not been charged. He spent many years in Portugal, including in Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.

Prosecutors in the northern German city of Braunschweig in October charged Brueckner in several separate cases Sex offenses were allegedly committed in Portugal between 2000 and 2017.

Braunschweig prosecutor Christian Wolter said Monday his office would release a statement on the case Tuesday morning.

Madeleine’s disappearance sparked worldwide interest, with public claims of seeing her as far away as Australia, along with a slew of books and television documentaries on the case.

Rewards for finding Madeleine amounted to several million dollars.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.