Police investigating the disappearance of Maddie McCann have commenced renewed search efforts in connection with the missing toddler, marking a major development in the long-running case.
Maddie went missing from her bed at a resort while holidaying with her parents in Portugal on May 3, 2007. The case of the then three-year-old’s disappearance attracted considerable global attention. Despite a long-running investigation, Maddie’s whereabouts remain unknown to this day.
However, in the first major development in the case for some time, investigators have announced they are now conducting new searches at a reservoir located inland from where Maddie went missing.
Portugal’s Judicial Police released a statement confirming the search efforts were underway.
“In view of the news made public, the Judiciary Police confirms that, regarding the investigation into the disappearance of an English child, which occurred in the Algarve in 2007, steps are still being taken to fully clarify the situation,” the statement read.
“Within the scope of international cooperation, in the next few days in the Algarve region, new searches will be carried out, coordinated by the Judiciary Police, at the request of the German Authorities (BKA) and with the presence of the British Authorities.
“Information will be provided in due course on the outcome of the proceedings.”
The search is reportedly expected to take two days. Roads leading to the reservoir have been closed and police have erected tents around the search site.
News of the renewed searches comes as a major step forward in the 16-year mystery, the most recent development came in 2022 when prosecutors from the Faro Department of Criminal Investigation and Prosecution (DIAP) announced in a statement that a “person was made an arguido” which translates to a person of interest or suspect.
“As part of the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007, a person was made an arguido on Wednesday,” the statement said.
“The person was made an arguido by the German authorities in execution of a request for international judicial cooperation issued by the Public Ministry of Portugal.
“The investigation has been carried out with the cooperation of the English and German authorities.”
As the world waits with bated breath as to whether the new search will provide any answers, Maddie’s parents recently took to social media to wish their missing daughter a happy birthday, while reaffirming that they will never “give up” looking for the toddler.
“Happy birthday Madeleine! We love you and we’re waiting for you. We’re never going to give up,” they wrote.
“Still missing. Still very much missed. Still looking. For as long as it takes.”
Many were quick to sympathise with the couple’s anguish with several wishing Maddie a happy birthday while expressing their hope that one day Maddie’s parents will get the answers they need.
“Happy Birthday little girl wherever you are. Hope your years have been peaceful knowing you were loved,” one person wrote.
“Still praying for Madeline.”
“Thinking of you all at this time xx,” another commented.
“This is so sad for her family. I pray that one day they will get answers.”