May 26, 2023 | 9:34 am
A three-day police investigation in a remote Portuguese reservoir has reportedly yielded a “relevant clue” in the 2007 disappearance of Briton Madeleine McCann.
Portuguese authorities on Thursday completed their search for the Algarve reservoir, some 50 kilometers from the Praia da Luz resort, where the 3-year-old girl was last seen alive 16 years ago.
German sex offender Christian Brueckner, 45 – jailed in his home country for an unrelated case – is said to have visited the reservoir “several days” after Madeleine disappeared.
Portugal’s judicial police remained tight-lipped about the outcome of the search, which involved sniffer dogs, digging equipment, a drone and a tree cutter. The collected material will be handed over to the German authorities.”
Portuguese newspaper Correio de Manha (Morning Mail) reported that police found a “relevant clue” during the search, but it is not known what it was.
Several items were reportedly removed from the Barragem do Arade dam area, including a bra strap, pieces of cloth and plastic items, but it is unclear if they are related to Madeleine’s case, the Mirror reported.
Police were reportedly looking for a gun and camcorder that allegedly belonged to Brueckner – and were stolen and then disposed of by two of his former accomplices in a petty crime ring.
According to a prison informant, the camcorder allegedly contained footage of Brueckner torturing and raping an American woman and a teenage girl, the Daily Mail reported.
The latest search came after a request from the German authorities and involved Portuguese, German and British detectives.
Work crews flattened an area of 160 square meters and dug holes 60 cm deep. Additional holes were dug closer to the reservoir, which is less than half full due to drought.
German prosecutor Christian Wolters said authorities will review the outcome and may issue a statement as early as next week.
In 2020, German officials named Brueckner, who was in the Algarve in 2007, as a suspect in the toddler’s murder, but he has not been charged and denies any involvement.
Brueckner is serving a seven-year prison sentence in Germany for the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old woman in Portugal.
The disappearance of the little girl has received worldwide attention and has spawned several true crime books and documentaries.
Police detectives in three countries are still trying to unravel what exactly happened the night Madeleine disappeared from her bed on May 3, 2007. She shared a room at the Praia da Luz resort with her 2-year-old twin sisters while the children’s parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, had dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant.
When Kate went to check on the kids around 10 p.m. that night, she found a window open and Madeleine gone.
Earlier this month, the McCanns shared a heartbreaking tribute to their missing daughter on what would have been her 20th birthday.
“Happy Birthday Madeleine! We love you and we are waiting for you. We never give up,” they wrote on Facebook.