The search for the missing British toddler, Madeleine McCann, is still ongoing 16 years later.
Portuguese police have finished their three-day excavation at the request of German authorities on Thursday. Unspecified samples were collected from a reservoir in the Algarve region of Portugal. Several investigative procedures such as sniffer dogs and tractor-based tree cutters were used during the on-the-ground search. The site is 30 miles away from where McCann went missing.
“The steps requested by the German authorities, through a request for international cooperation, have been fulfilled, which resulted in the collection of some material that will be subject to the competent expertise,” a spokesperson for the Polícia Judiciária said.
The operation was conducted with several investigators and criminal experts to safeguard the best interests of the ongoing investigation.
McCann disappeared on the 5th day of her family vacation from the holiday apartment they were staying in at the Mark Warner Oceans Resort in Prai da Luz, a Portuguese resort town, on May 3, 2007.
Her parents were having dinner close by, coming to make sure everything was alright every half hour. When they returned for one of their check-ins, they realized their daughter was missing. An extensive search of the area was conducted but no trace of the toddler or her kidnapper could be found.
“Of course we are still looking for the body. We’re not just looking for that, of course. There are other things too. Any discovery of clothing could help our investigation,” Christian Wolters, German prosecutor, said.
Last year, German authorities named Christian Bruckner, 45, an official suspect in the disappearance of McCann. Bruckner has been previously convicted of child abuse, drug dealing, and sexual assault. His phone records pinged in the same area as the McCanns, placing him near the apartment. He is currently in prison serving time for raping a 72-year-old woman in the same part of the Algarve where McCann went missing. Bruckner has not been officially charged with anything related to the toddler’s case and has denied any involvement. “If we don’t find anything, we will certainly tell you quickly,” Wolters said.
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