Search icon


25th May 2023

Madeleine McCann search ends as Portugal police told to stand down

Steve Hopkins

The reservoir is said to have been visited by the chief suspects says after Madeleine went missing

Portuguese police have reportedly been told they will no longer be needed after 4pm today at the reservoir being searched this week for Madeleine McCann.

The Mirror reported that the move likely signals the end of the fresh searches which began Tuesday.

A well-placed police source said: “The GNR has received instructions to stand down at 4pm local time.”

The GNR is one of the two Portuguese police forces which have been working at the Barragem do Arade.

There was no immediate information made available by the other force, the Policia Judiciaria.

Sky News reported that it was not yet known if anything significant was found, but a number of bags were taken from the site.

A source close to the investigation told Reuters news agency, there was “nothing to report” after the search.

German prosecutor, Christian Wolters, added: “Of course there is a certain expectation, but it is not high”.

At the request of German investigators, Portuguese police began searching around Arade dam on, about 30 miles from Praia da Luz, where Madeleine was last seen alive just before her fourth birthday on 3 May 2007. She went missing from her room, where she was sleeping along with her two siblings, while her parents were at dinner 130 feet away.

The reservoir is said to be a favourite spot of convicted German rapist Christian Brückner, who is the key suspect. The 45-year-old is currently in prison for raping a 72-year-old woman in the same area of the Algarve region where Madeleine went missing but has not been charged with any crime related to the disappearance. He has always maintained that he was not involved.

According to reports on Thursday, Brueckner is said to have visited “his little paradise” – possibly with others – “some days” after Madeleine went missing.

This is a breaking news story. More to follow.