Investigators are comparing soil samples collected during the recent search for Madeleine McCann with dirt found on the prime suspect’s motorhome, it has emerged.
Last month, detectives searched the remote Barragem do Arade reservoir in the Algarve, Portugal, where they believe the prime suspect, Christian Brueckner, went in the days after the girl disappeared.
Police cleared a wooded area of approximately 160 square feet at the reservoir and dug eight deep holes to collect soil samples which were sent for forensic testing. Officials recovered a “number of items” during the search.
Authorities now believe they have a good chance of proving Brueckner’s van was in the area at the time of Madeleine’s abduction, sources told the Daily Mirror.
Insider says if analysis of soil sample finds a ‘positive match’ police may be able to ‘close the net further’ around Brueckner, 45, who has yet to be charged and denies any involvement in the girl’s disappearance.
Investigators are comparing soil samples collected during the recent search for Madeleine McCann with dirt found on the prime suspect’s motorhome, it has emerged. Police dug eight deep holes (pictured) to collect soil samples during their search last month
Authorities now believe they have a good chance of proving Brueckner’s van was in the area at the time of Madeleine’s abduction, sources say. Investigators are pictured at the research site in Silves, Portugal on May 25
Madeleine McCann (left) was taken from a holiday apartment on May 3, 2007. Police have identified Christian Brueckner (right) as the prime suspect in her disappearance. He has not yet been charged and denies any involvement
German prosecutors first connected Brueckner to the Portuguese beauty site after photos – which have not been made public – linked him to the area.
It is understood that proving he visited the reservoir in May 2007 could be ‘essential’ to link him to Madeleine’s case.
A source claimed police were focused on “showing through analysis of soil samples” that Brueckner’s VW T3 Westfalia was in Barragem do Arade at the time Madeleine was taken.
“A positive match of the soil they already have from the vehicle with the soil they removed during the search last week will be another important piece of evidence against him,” the insider told the newspaper.
The individual added that it would be a “minor setback” if the lab did not find a match, but said “investigators remain hopeful”.
The reservoir is located 30 miles from the holiday apartment where three-year-old Madeleine was taken on May 3, 2007.
Scotland Yard would inform his parents Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, of the investigation by the German authorities.
A source claimed police were focused on ‘showing through analysis of soil samples’ that Brueckner’s VW T3 Westfalia (pictured) was in Barragem do Arade at the time Madeleine was taken
The insider added that it would be a “slight setback” if the lab did not find a match, but says “investigators remain hopeful.” Authorities are pictured at the research site on May 25
Several items have been removed from the site, which may or may not be relevant to the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance. They include a bra strap, clothing and plastic items. German and Portuguese investigators are pictured dismantling the base camp at the end of the three-day search on May 25
The three-day search last month was carried out by Portuguese police with the help of German and British colleagues.
Police had said they found a “relevant clue” during their search for the beauty spot after an informant was able to match photographs showing Brueckner near the tank.
Several items have been removed from the site, which may or may not be relevant to the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance. They include a bra strap, clothing and plastic items.
German prosecutors revealed in June 2020 that they were investigating Brueckner and had “concrete evidence” that he had killed Madeleine.
In their statement after the search, prosecutors said investigations against the 46-year-old suspect should “continue for some time”.
Madeleine McCann (pictured) was three when she disappeared from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in 2007
Despite an extensive international manhunt, no trace of McCann has been found and no one has been charged in connection with his disappearance.
According to police, Brueckner lived in the Algarve region between 1995 and 2007, earning a living doing odd jobs as well as robbing hotel rooms and holiday apartments.
It was also reported that he regularly spent time near the reservoir outside the small inland town of Silves.
Police previously scoured the site in 2008, but divers found only animal remains then, according to media reports.