Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are preparing to search in and near a reservoir in Portugal, according to multiple reports.
An area near the Barragem do Arade reservoir, around 50km from Praia da Luz where Madeleine went missing in 2007, is being sealed off as German police prepare to start searching on Tuesday, Portuguese news website SIC reported.
It said that the prime suspect in her disappearance, convicted sex offender Christian Brueckner, spent time in the area between 2000 and 2017.
Investigators believe the 45-year-old killed Madeleine, then aged three, after abducting her from a holiday apartment.
Brueckner, who has reportedly denied any involvement in the youngster’s disappearance, was identified as a murder suspect in the McCann case by Portuguese officials in June 2020.
He is facing charges in Germany over a number of separate sex offences allegedly committed in Portugal during that time.
Both Portuguese and British police officers will be present while the search by German investigators is carried out, SIC said.
It is not the first time that the reservoir has been searched.
In 2008 Portuguese lawyer Marcos Aragao Correia paid for specialist divers to check the waterway after he claimed to have been tipped off by criminal contacts that her body was in the reservoir.
The most recent search in Portugal in relation to Madeleine’s disappearance was in 2014, when British police were given permission to examine scrubland near where she vanished.
Earlier this month, Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry issued a short statement on their Find Madeleine Campaign website to mark the 16th anniversary of her disappearance.
They said: “Today marks the 16th anniversary of Madeleine’s abduction.
“Still missing… still very much missed.
“It is hard to find the words to convey how we feel.
“The police investigation continues, and we await a breakthrough.”