In Renewed Maddie Search, Cops Dig Up Scrubland

Large area around Praia da Luz resort to be searched
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2014 7:37 AM CDT
This undated file photo shows Madeleine McCann, who went missing in May 2007.   (AP Photo/PA, File)

(Newser) – Just as sources said last month, police are now digging up scrubland around the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz, where Madeleine McCann disappeared while on vacation with her parents in 2007. An area the size of "three football pitches" was sealed off today, and Portuguese and British police will use "ground-penetrating radar" to search it, the BBC reports. They're looking for disturbed earth in the scrubland, which is surrounded by vacation properties and is just 300 feet from the Ocean Club complex where the British 3-year-old was staying when she disappeared.

According to the Express and Sky News, police will then use mechanical diggers to excavate areas where the soil appears to have been disturbed; they'll also use sniffer dogs to search for human remains. Similar search requests have been made for two other sites nearby, including another area of scrubland. The search of the first area is expected to last as long as a week, but at least one local doesn't think authorities will find anything: "The police have been here before," he told the BBC, calling the new search "ridiculous." Scotland Yard will also reportedly interview eight Portuguese nationals, though it's not clear who or why. (Read more Madeleine McCann stories.)

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