It is not the first time that Madeleine McCann has been sought at the bottom of the Arade swamp. The area, baptized by the main suspect Christian Brueckner as "my little paradise", was already inspected in 2008 by six divers in an operation financed by Marcos Aragao Correia, a well-known civil rights lawyer in Portugal.
The divers found bones, which turned out to be "non-human", and filled two large plastic bags with objects -such as a rope full of knots- that did not serve as evidence before the disappearance that occurred on May 3, 2007 in Praia da Light, 50 kilometers from there.
The inspection was then carried out almost gropingly, in conditions of poor visibility and fourteen meters deep. And the tip was a testimony attributed by Correia himself to local underworld sources, who assured that Maddie had been murdered 48 hours after her kidnapping and that her lifeless body was thrown from a pumping station. at the bottom of the swamp.
It is unknown what is the new clue that has brought Portuguese, German and British investigators back to the same scene after 15 years, in the largest joint operation for almost a decade. The police operation on the banks of the Arade reservoir began to take shape on Monday, with the installation of blue tents and the cordoning off of a large area around the dam.
More than a dozen vehicles crowded along the banks of the swamp early Tuesday morning, in the face of great media attention. About thirty agents and detectives, accompanied by police dogs, began the search on the banks, while a motorboat with divers on board left for the interior of the swamp. In principle, the investigations will last 48 hours, although they could last several more days.
Investigation sources cited by The Sun assured that 20% of the search will be carried out within the swamp, although 80% will be carried out on land and in the surroundings, frequented by Christian Brueckner during his long stays on Portuguese soil. The 46-year-old suspect is serving a seven-year prison sentence in Germany for the rape of a 72-year-old American tourist (he has also been linked to the disappearances of the six-year-old boy René Hasee in 1996 and the five-year-old girl years Inga Gericke in 2015).
Brueckner came to have a house 20 kilometers from the swamp, although everything indicates that he had friends who lived in the town of Silves and that the Arade dam was one of the suspect's favorite places, who used to move and camp in the area in an old Volkswagen motorhome and may have been seen by witnesses days after Maddie's disappearance.
Lack of evidence has jeopardized the case so far, but German prosecutor Hans Christian Walters is convinced Madeleine McCann was murdered and is hell-bent on proving the suspect guilty. The initiative came from German investigators, and the fact that Scotland Yard and the Portuguese Federal Criminal Police Office have joined the investigations has added credibility to the operation.
"Criminal procedural measures are being carried out in Portugal as part of the investigation of the Madeleine McCann case," the Braunschweig prosecutor's office said in a brief statement on Tuesday. The statement explained, however, that further details could not be disclosed "for investigative tactical reasons."
Even so, the prosecutor Wolter assured that the basis of the new investigation are "several clues" about the movements of the suspect in Portugal. As revealed by The Daily Mirror, citing Portuguese sources, the investigations may be due to the discovery of photos and videos of Brueckner at the Arade dam.
Kate and Gerry McCann, Maddie's parents, followed the developments from distant Rothley, the town where they live on the outskirts of Leicester and where they are occasionally harassed by journalists, such as on the recent anniversary of the disappearance, when they were photographed in company of Amelie, Maddie's little sister who has already turned 18.
"Never give up", "Never forget me" or "Never leave a stone unturned" were some of the slogans launched by family and friends on the sad anniversary, and given the hope maintained by their parents, who continue with the Find Madeleine campaign in the hope of seeing her again one day...
"Still missing. We miss you so much. It's very hard to find the words to describe what we're feeling. The police investigation continues, and we hope that one day there will be a discovery."
Maddie disappeared on the night of May 3, 2007 from apartment 5A on Rúa Dr. Agostinho in Praia da Luz, where she slept with her twin brothers Amelie and Sean. Her parents were having dinner with friends at the Ocean Club tapas bar, about fifty meters away, and they took turns checking to see if the children were sleeping peacefully.
At ten o'clock at night it was Kate's turn, who noticed the absence of her three-year-old daughter (about to turn four), while the twins slept. He looked for her on the floor and couldn't find her, and shortly after she went to give her husband the sad news: "Maddie has disappeared!".
In the midst of the media whirlwind, Kate and Gerry McCann were named as "suspects" by the inspector Gonçalo Amaral, who was denounced by the parents and sentenced to pay half a million euros for defamation by a Lisbon court (although the sentence was revoked by the Supreme). Scotland Yard spent 15 million euros in the so-called Operation Barn to try to find the whereabouts of Maddie, although the police force was severely reduced last year due to the lack of results.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project