Madeleine McCann smiling and police searching a lake

Madeleine McCann police issue statement as ‘relevant clue’ is found in hunt for missing Brit

Claims they were looking for pink pyjamas she was wearing when she disappeared

Police leading the search for Madeleine McCann have issued a statement after being seen removing evidence bags from the site.

Earlier this week (May 23), police divers arrived at a reservoir just a 45-minute drive from the Portuguese resort Madeleine disappeared from in 2007.

The joint search by German and Portuguese police was the first official search of the waters of the Arade Dam, near Silves. Scotland Yard were also said to have flown out to observe. It’s thought they were looking for the pink pyjamas Madeleine was wearing when she disappeared.

Now officers involved in the search have issued a statement. It comes as sources claim a “relevant clue” has been found. Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, now face an agonising wait as the material is sent off for testing.

Gerry McCann looking pained during an interview
Gerry and Kate now face an agonising wait as the material is analysed (Credit: YouTube)

Madeleine McCann search: Police issue statement

Earlier today (May 26), police in Portugal issued a statement. It revealed that “some material” had been collected from the site. They were said to be looking for Madeleine’s pink pyjamas. She was wearing them when she disappeared.

The search resulted in the collection of some material that will be subject to the competent expertise.

It read: “[The search] resulted in the collection of some material that will be subject to the competent expertise. The material collected will be handed over to the German authorities.”

During the search, a “relevant clue” was found, it’s reported. The evidence will now be sent off for analysis.

Looking for a body

German prosecutor Christian Wolters played down hopes of a breakthrough, but did admit: “Of course, there is a certain expectation, but it is not high.” He added that the investigators were looking for a body, but also for anything that could help the investigation, such as clothing.

Earlier this week, speaking after the search began, a close friend of Kate and Gerry McCann recalled a previous conversation with Kate. She revealed the missing Brit’s parents are “exhausted” and struggling to sleep. Now they face an even more agonising wait for answers.

Kate McCann looking pained during an interview
Madeleine’s mum Kate said living with hope is ‘exhausting’ (Credit: YouTube)

Kate and Gerry McCann ‘exhausted’

Tatton MP Esther McVey, who helped set up the Madeleine McCann fund after she went missing in 2007, spoke to GB News about the search this week.

She said: “Watching those pictures there actually brought a lump into my throat. I can’t believe it’s more than 16 years ago. There have been so many false hopes and horizons on the way. People have spotted her, there have been tip-offs. And yet we haven’t found Madeleine. I genuinely hope for the family this does bring it to a conclusion.”

Living with hope is exhausting, not sleeping, waking up, every moment hoping I’ll see her, just exhausting.

She then recalled a conversation with Kate: “I remember when I last spoke to Kate, she said: ‘Esther, living with hope is exhausting, not sleeping, waking up, every moment hoping I’ll see her, just exhausting.'”

Madeleine McCann divers are searching a reservoir
German and Portuguese police are working together on the search (Credit: Sky News)

New search for Madeleine McCann underway in Portugal

The comments come as Madeleine McCann police continue their search in Portugal. Earlier this week, a Portuguese source close to the investigation alleged to The Sun: “The search is being taken very seriously and is being controlled totally by the Germans. They asked Portuguese officers assisting them to look for any evidence – but especially rags.” 

It’s not the first time the site has been searched. Back in 2008, following a tip-off, lawyer Marcos Aragao Correia led the original search of the waters. And he has said that cops will need a “miracle” to uncover the remains of Madeleine.

Speaking to The Sun, Correia said he organised the search after feeling “ignored” by police as he shared his tip-off. He claimed he received intel from an “underworld” contact. They alleged Madeleine had been dumped in a “deserted late with murky waters”.

His search was never officially linked to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. And, before running out of cash for the private search, which he funded through donations, Correia did find some suspicious items. This including a 17ft length of cord and strips of tape.

He claimed: “The clues I received shortly after Madeleine disappeared pointed to her having been kidnapped, raped and murdered and her body thrown into a lake in the Algarve.”

Kate and Gerry McCann beside a poster of Madeleine
Kate and Gerry McCann have never given up looking for their little girl but will this search bring closure? (Credit: Splash News)

‘Only a miracle could now find Madeleine McCann’s remains’

In the years that have passed, Correia has been critical of how the Portuguese police have handled the case. He alleged this week: “We cannot count on the state, especially the Portuguese State, to help us if something bad happens to our children. There is clearly the example of Madeleine McCann, abandoned at the highest level by the Portuguese state, and her parents, clearly innocent, persecuted.”

The search is thought to have been mounted after a tip-off that prime suspect Christian Brueckner had visited the area. However, offering his opinion on how he thinks the new search will go, Correia delivered bad news to those working at the scene, as well as those hoping for closure.

“After 16 years, only a miracle could now find Madeleine McCann’s remains. That’s all I have to say,” he then stated.

Read more: Kate and Gerry McCann vow to ‘never give up’ looking for Madeleine

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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor