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Police prepare for search in Madeleine McCann case

Jun. 2, 2014 8:13 AM EDT
By Helena Alves and Barry Hatton

PRAIA DA LUZ, Portugal (AP) - Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann on Monday cordoned off scrubland near the resort where the British girl vanished seven years ago.

Officers placed yellow-and-white police tape around the waste ground, which is larger than a soccer field and covered in bushes and some trees. They were expected to conduct a forensic examination of the area in coming days. Officials have previously said detectives may use excavators, dogs and ground-penetrating radar as they scrutinize the terrain. Police kept watch over the area from an adjacent low hill.

Police Investigate Scrubland Near Where Madeleine McCann Vanished

Officials made no immediate comment on Monday's developments. Cases that are under investigation in Portugal are covered by a judicial secrecy law, which forbids the release of information.

The scrubland is about 300 meters (330 yards) from the Praia da Luz resort in southern Portugal where Madeleine vanished from her family's vacation apartment in May 2007, shortly before her fourth birthday. The area was searched in the days following her disappearance.

Authorities in Portugal and Britain said recently they would conduct new searches in coming weeks after reviewing the case file and a new public appeal for information.

Portuguese police closed the case in 2008 because authorities had detected no crime. The public prosecutor's office in Lisbon last year reopened the investigation, saying new leads emerged during the case review though it did not elaborate.

British police launched Operation Grange in 2011 to try to find out what happened to Madeleine. British detectives have been sifting through the Portuguese case files and say they have identified new avenues of investigation. Among other things, they have compiled a record of cases involving sexual assaults on children in the area between 2004 and 2010.

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qsmuse June 02 2014 at 9:24 AM

…"Portuguese police closed the case in 2008 because authorities had detected no crime."… I am a bit confused. How can the detect no crime when a child disappears into thin air!!! That in itself IS a crime!!

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7 replies
Carl June 02 2014 at 8:57 AM

These are terrible parents that would leave this young baby alone while they went out and partied, shame on them! Hope it haunts them for the rest of their miserable lives!!!!

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20 replies
Barbara June 02 2014 at 9:51 AM

The parents made an error in judgment by leaving their children. This does not mean they do not love their children and the pain and suffering they are going through must be more than unbearable. They need closure - is Madeline alive or not?

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7 replies
tmsandrew June 02 2014 at 9:28 AM

Every few months there's a new search, new leads, the parents on TV demanding more be done. I hate these parents, they are 100% responsible for their daughter's disappearance. I wish that the little girl had been found but I don't think she ever will be. The ******* parents are so freakin lucky all of their kids weren't taken that night. These are despicable selfish people.

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5 replies
Moorebrennan June 02 2014 at 10:15 AM

The realities of where they were strange place .. police problems they had to be aware also .. that Darling Beautiful lit'l Madeline haunts me .. can't imagine something like that happening .. never ever would I leave my Beautiful baby anywhere alone .. they were on vacation drinking wine what??? Really ??????? Totally Disgraceful no explanations whatsoever none .. God Bless Madeline ..

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4 replies
autounionbailout June 02 2014 at 10:36 AM


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Shopgirl June 02 2014 at 10:20 AM

Please people stop hashing over who was wrong. You are being very harsh against these parents.. The child is gone. Let pray about getting her back and hopefully save.. The parents are going through their own hell. You don't know what happen..I can even see my self going through this horrible deal...it breaks my heart.. Lets just hope and pray they find her one way or another these parents need her back one way or other.. Stop.. Saying mean thing.. It's just crazy for some of you people to say what say on here just just being a smart ass.. Don't post if you are going to be a idiot .

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7 replies
STACY MY LOVE.. June 02 2014 at 10:23 AM

This case is so very sad. I personally would never have left my very little children in the hotel room alone . What if one of them awakes and needs something... I am very sad for what has happened to this beautiful child . I fear she is more than likely not alive. She was so little..not yet even 4. I feel for the parents and hope for closure soon.

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nickshelby June 02 2014 at 11:59 AM

I bet the parents did something to her. If we can't find a airplane how are we going to find a little girl?

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2 replies
David S. nickshelby June 02 2014 at 3:27 PM

If they did something to her, they would have been arrested by now....

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2 replies
pbarateiro David S. June 02 2014 at 4:03 PM

you have no idea what you talking about

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bdot157 David S. June 02 2014 at 8:25 PM

Are you aware of statistics and probabilities ? Obviously NOT..........This was the perfect setting for the parents to do this and it's called premeditated.
The likely hood they were directly involved/responsible is more than 75% greater than them not being directly involved/responsible

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Todd nickshelby June 02 2014 at 5:19 PM

And I bet you aren't the brightest crayon in the box nickshelby. I have just as much right to say this as you are to convict the parents on ZERO evidence.

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1 reply
msgoe Todd June 02 2014 at 9:51 PM

if the parents were involved why just madeline ?? why not the pther kids ??

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Phyl June 02 2014 at 10:16 AM

I have followed the disappearance of Madeleine. I hope every stone is over-turned to find this precious little girl. I pray she is alive and can one day reunite with her loving parents and siblings. I will keep her in my prayers always. God bless the parents for having to live this nightmare.

P.J., La Jolla, CA, USA

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3 replies
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