Madeleine McCann: No evidence after searches, say police

Madeleine McCann Image copyright Everton FC
Image caption Madeleine McCann went missing in Praia da Luz in 2007

No evidence relating to missing Madeleine McCann has been identified after searches in Portugal, Scotland Yard has said.

Portuguese and British police have completed searching three sites in the Algarve holiday resort of Praia da Luz.

Scotland Yard said the searches were the "first phase of this major investigation" and approximately 60,000 square metres had been covered.

Madeleine was three when she went missing in Praia da Luz in May 2007.

A statement from Scotland Yard said "more activity has been agreed" with the Portuguese police, and that this was expected to start shortly.

The areas that have been searched included drainage channels and derelict buildings, police said.

'Ground anomalies'

Police sources have previously revealed that after the land searches have been completed, Portuguese police are due to question "several suspects", who are described as "of interest" in the case.

Image copyright PA
Image caption UK police searched the second site, outside Praia da Luz, using sniffer dogs
Image copyright PA
Image caption The second search site is about 15 minutes' walk from Praia da Luz, where Madeleine went missing in May 2007

On Wednesday police could be seen searching two other sites near Praia da Luz with sniffer dogs.

But the main focus of the land searches was on the first 15-acre site that police spent a week combing for evidence.

At this site police could be seen using ground-penetrating radar equipment which was designed to look for signs of disturbed earth.

The decision to search wasteland areas around the resort, was as a result of investigation work by UK police.

Scotland Yard said overall "41 ground anomalies" had been identified by both aerial surveys and ground analysis, which were then fully investigated.

Further requests for police activity within Portugal in relation to Madeleine McCann were being compiled and "will be submitted in due course", police said.

The searches are the most significant police activity in Praia da Luz since Madeleine went missing seven years ago.

Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, had been eating dinner with friends a short distance away when the three-year-old disappeared from their Ocean Club holiday apartment.

The McCanns, from Rothley, Leicestershire, have said they have been "encouraged" by the progress made by police.

The search in Praia da Luz comes after the Met launched a fresh investigation into Madeleine's disappearance last July, codenamed Operation Grange.

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