May 26, 2023 | 9:34
A three-day police search of a remote Portuguese reservoir has reportedly revealed a ‘relevant clue’ to the 2007 disappearance of little Briton Madeleine McCann.
Portuguese authorities on Thursday completed their search for the Algarve reservoir about 30 miles from the resort town of Praia da Luz, where the 3-year-old girl was last seen alive 16 years ago.
German sex offender Christian Brueckner, 45 – jailed in his homeland for an unrelated matter – is said to have visited the reservoir ‘a few days’ after Madeleine went missing.
Portugal’s judicial police were tight-lipped on the outcome of the search, which involved sniffer dogs, digging equipment, a drone and a tree cutter, saying the effort “resulted in the collection of some materials that will be submitted to the competent expert.The material collected will be handed over to the German authorities.
Portuguese newspaper Correio de Manha (Morning Mail) reported that during the search cops came across a “relevant clue”, but it is unclear what it was.
Several items were reportedly removed from the area of the Barragem do Arade dam, including a bra strap, pieces of fabric and plastic objects, but it is unclear if they are related to Madeleine’s case, reported the Mirror.
Police are said to have searched for a gun and camcorder believed to have belonged to Brueckner – and were stolen and then dumped by two of his former accomplices in a gang of petty criminals.
A prison informant said the camcorder 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 German authorities and involved Portuguese, German and British detectives.
Work crews leveled a 160 square foot area and dug holes 2 feet deep. Additional holes have been dug closer to the reservoir, which is less than half full due to a drought.
German prosecutor Christian Wolters said authorities would assess the outcome and could 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 has denied involvement.
Brueckner is serving a seven-year prison sentence in Germany for raping a 72-year-old woman in Portugal in 2005.
The little girl’s disappearance has captured worldwide attention, spawning several true-crime books and documentaries.
Police investigators from three countries are still trying to piece together what exactly happened the night Madeleine disappeared from her bed on May 3, 2007. She was sharing a room at the Praia da Luz resort with her siblings 2-year-old twins while the kids parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, dined with friends at a nearby restaurant.
When Kate went to see the children around 10 p.m. that evening, she found an open window 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 will never give up,” they wrote on Facebook.