McCanns hopeful in new Maddy search

Last updated 07:02 04/06/2014
Madeleine McCann
Reuters

ROPED OFF: British police have started a new investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007.

Madeleine McCann
MYSTERY: Madeleine McCann disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz as her parents dined at a nearby restaurant.
Madeleine McCann
Reuters
NEW HOPE: Officers dig for evidence during a search of an area near the resort where the toddler was last seen.

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Madeleine McCann's parents are expecting "significant news" from police searching for the missing toddler in an area of scrub near the Portuguese resort where she was last seen.

Up to 30 British police have been digging with shovels and collecting samples in buckets at the site, just 300 metres from the apartment where the McCanns were staying in May 2007.

On the second day of the search, they were accompanied by two sniffer dogs and their handlers from South Wales Police, used in the search for murdered schoolgirl April Jones in 2012, the Daily Mail reported.

An experienced search adviser who worked on that case has also been sent to the site, according to the Mail.

Kate and Gerry McCann were not in Portugal for the latest development but were being kept in the loop by Scotland Yard.

The family's Portuguese lawyer said they know police would not be digging there unless they "have some very good information".

"Kate and Gerry have not been given any information that Madeleine is dead, and until this happens they have to believe she is still alive," Isabel Duarte told the Mail.

"But they think police will come up with some significant news."

The wasteland being searched has reportedly been chosen because it is close to where a suspect was seen with a little girl in his arms on the night three-year-old Madeleine vanished.

The land is being guarded day and night by armed local police, some on horseback and others with German shepherd dogs.

Yesterday officers carried out fingertip searches of the area on their hands and knees. They are expected to remain at the site for the rest of the week.

Geologists and archaeologists have been consulted, and it is thought officers will use ground-penetrating radar before bringing in mechanical diggers.

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