- By Jasmine Anderson and Damian McGuinness, in Berlin
- BBC news
Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann will conduct a search at a Portuguese reservoir.
The search for Aladedam, 50km from where the infant went missing in Praia da Luz in 2007, will begin on Tuesday.
Christian Bruckner, 45, was made a formal suspect, or “Algido,” by the Portuguese prosecutor’s office in 2022.
German police called for a search after Bruckner was in the area when Madeleine, then 3, went missing.
Madeleine, from Rossley, Leicestershire, was on vacation with her family in the Algarve, Portugal, when she disappeared on May 3, 2007.
News of the search was first reported by the Portuguese media. German authorities did not officially confirm, but suggested media reports were correct.
German state prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters in Braunschweig told the BBC that a short confirmation statement would be issued on Tuesday morning.
An area just over a mile long on the reservoir’s peninsula was cordoned off by police shortly after noon on Monday, Portuguese television network SIC reported.
The search is scheduled to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Police have set up blue tents and blocked roads leading to the artificial dam, with a total of 20 officers assigned to the search.
Walters has identified Bruckner as a prime suspect in the McCann case, but he has never been charged with Madeleine’s disappearance and has denied any involvement.
State prosecutors said there was growing evidence linking Bruckner to the case, including cell phone records showing he was in the Praia de Luz neighborhood at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.
Bruckner, a German national, is currently in a German prison for raping a 72-year-old woman in the same neighborhood where Madeleine McCann disappeared in 2005.
When the McCann family was on vacation, he lived near the Praia da Luz Resort and spent time in the area from 2000 to 2017.
This is not the first time a reservoir has been searched as part of an investigation.
In 2008, Portuguese lawyer Marcos Aragao Correia paid professional divers to inspect the waterway, claiming criminal officials tipped him off that Madeleine’s body was in the reservoir.
The most recent raid in Portugal related to Madeleine’s disappearance was in 2014, when British police were given permission to search a bushland near where she disappeared.
Earlier this month, Madeline’s parents, Kate and Jerry, held a vigil to mark the 16th anniversary of her disappearance.
They also celebrated their daughter’s 20th birthday in May and vowed to “never give up” on finding her.
“Madeleine, happy birthday. Still missing. Still very lonely. Still looking. As long as it takes time,” they said in a post on the Find Madeleine campaign’s official Facebook page.
“We love you and we are waiting for you. We will never give up.”