German prosecutors said Thursday that they will examine objects that were found in a search in Portugal last week for clues regarding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, but can’t yet say whether they are linked to the British girl who went missing in 2007.
Investigators spent three days last week searching around a dam some 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Praia da Luz resort in southern Portugal, where the 3-year-old girl was last seen 16 years ago. The search was instigated by prosecutors in Braunschweig, Germany, who are investigating a German man in connection with her disappearance.
In a brief statement Thursday, prosecutors said that “some objects were secured,” without giving further details.
“These will be evaluated in the coming days and weeks,” they added. “It cannot yet be said whether individual objects are actually related to the Madeleine McCann case.”
They thanked Portuguese and British police for their cooperation and added that they expect their investigation of the 46-year-old suspect in the case will continue for a long time.
In mid-2020, German officials said the German citizen, identified by media as Christian Brueckner, was a suspect in the case. Brueckner has denied any involvement.
Brueckner is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence in Germany for raping a 72-year-old woman in Portugal in 2005.
He is under investigation on suspicion of murder in the McCann case but hasn’t been charged. He spent many years in Portugal, including in Praia da Luz, around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.
The case of Madeleine McCann stirred worldwide interest for several years, with reports of sightings of her stretching as far away as Australia, along with a slew of books and television documentaries about the case.
British, Portuguese and German investigators are still piecing together what happened on the night when the toddler disappeared from her bed in the southern Portuguese resort on May 3, 2007. She was in the same room as her brother and sister — 2-year-old twins — while her parents had dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant.