Police divers and specialist forensics teams began searching a remote Portuguese reservoir Tuesday for the remains of British child Madeleine McCann who has been missing since 2007 when she vanished on a family vacation. UPI File Photo
May 23 (UPI) -- Portuguese police divers began searching a reservoir Tuesday for missing British child Madeleine McCann near where the 3-year-old vanished on a family vacation in 2007.
A major international police operation in the Algarve region was underway at the request of German authorities and in the presence of British police, according to a statement from Portuguese Judiciary Police, who are coordinating the operation.
More than 20 officers are involved, including specialist divers, sniffer dogs and the use of advanced technology in the search of the remote reservoir near where Madeleine disappeared. The search is expected to continue through Wednesday.
Christian Bruckner, a German-born drifter, was first linked to Madeleine's disappearance in 2020 and named as an official suspect last year.
Arade reservoir, 31 miles from the Ocean Club holiday apartment in Praia da Luz where Madeleine went missing in May 2007 while her parents were dining 100 yards away, is being searched because Bruckner is reported to have visited it frequently.
Witnesses have placed a yellow and white VW campervan Bruckner was driving at the time in Praia da Luz the same day and told police they had seen a toddler with a man fitting his description near the resort the evening of Madeleine's disappearance. Police also say phone records corroborate that Bruckner was in the area.
Bruckner, who denies any involvement, is serving a sentence in a German jail for the 2005 rape of a woman in Praia da Luz and has been linked to a string of abductions and sex crimes across Europe against women and children.
Madeleine's family have not commented on the latest developments. But in a post on Facebook marking their daughter's 20th birthday earlier this month, her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, said, "We love you and we're waiting for you. We're never going to give up.
"Happy Birthday Madeleine. Still missing. Still very much missed. Still looking. For as long as it takes."