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Madeleine police finish scrubland search in Portugal

Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have finished their first search of an area of scrubland in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

British police officers clearing an area of wasteland in Praia da Luz. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Specialist teams used ground-penetrating radar equipment, examined drains and dug holes as they hunted for clues into what happened to Madeleine, who went missing when she was three-years-old from the nearby Ocean Club resort apartment in May 2007.

Cordons around the area of land in the Algarve holiday resort were removed last night.

McCanns 'encouraged' by investigation in Portugal

The parents of Madeleine McCann have said they were feeling "encouraged" by this week's events, as British police carry out investigations on an area of scrubland close to where she went missing in Portugal.

A British police officer checks soil samples dug from a hole in an area of wasteland Credit: PA

Writing on their Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook page, the McCanns said: "We are kept updated on the on-going work in Portugal and are encouraged by the progress", the message said.

They added: "We would like to ask people to refrain from spreading rumours and speculation based on inaccurate press reporting".

More: Madeleine McCann police apply for extra days on search site

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McCann search 'catastrophic' for Portugal resort

Tourists and locals in the Praia Da Luz holiday resort in Portugal have described the negative impact of the latest search for Madeleine McCann, as police have applied to extend their examination of wasteland near where she vanished in 2007.

Locals and tourists in the Praia Da Luz holiday resort in Portugal say the latest search has had a negative effect. Credit: PA

One hotelier said many of her guests had cancelled this week and called the case "catastrophic" for business.

Lucilia Matos, who has run the Aurora Sol guest house for the past 12 years, said only four of her 20 rooms were occupied, and three of those were taken up by journalists.

"I know other people with the same business I have and it's the same," she said. "It's a shame the investigations always start at the same time - always in May, June.

"It's a case that's very complicated, I know, we understand. But it's a little village and we need so much work for the summer. It's always the same. We are not happy."

Longtime tourist to the resort Eileen Berry, 65, said: "We are frequent visitors to Luz and you can sense the atmosphere here that things are not good."

  1. Martin Geissler

Pile of earth suggests 'substantial excavation' at site

Police investigating an area of scrubland close to where Madeleine McCann disappeared in 2007 have removed the tent that had protected one "location of interest" yesterday.

An officer logs notes at the scene while her colleagues have shifted their equipment, and attention, to another spot just a few yards away. Credit: ITV News

A pile of earth suggests substantial excavation there, while today's investigations are focused in another spot a few yards away.

There is no suggestion as to what, if anything, they may have found.

Cameras probe drains in Madeleine McCann hunt

Police officers searching scrubland in Portugal in the hunt for Madeleine McCann have sent cameras into drain systems under the wasteland.

Police send cameras into a drain in the search for Madeleine Mccann. Credit: ITV News / Louisa Felton
Police send cameras into the drains system under the wasteland in Praia da Luz. Credit: ITV News/Louisa Felton

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Search for Madeleine McCann continues on wasteland

The search for missing Madeleine McCann continues on wasteland in Praia da Luz, Portugal, as police have applied for an extra seven days to investigate the site.

The search for missing Madeleine McCann continues on wasteland in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Credit: ITV News / Louisa Felton

The two springer spaniels from South Wales Police that are being used at the site were seen sniffing around a flat area of the scrubland that had been marked out with tape this morning.

It is not clear whether they will work over the weekend and officers are not expected to carry out any searches on Tuesday, as it is a public holiday in Portugal.

Madeleine: Police start fourth day of searching scrubland

A British police officer sifts through soil after it was removed from a site of an area of wasteland during a search for evidence. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

British police will spend a fourth day carrying out investigations on an area of scrubland close to where Madeleine McCann went missing in Portugal seven years ago.

Officers, accompanied by their Portuguese counterparts, were expected to probe the area in Praia da Luz on the Algarve until Friday but have applied to spend an extra seven days there.

Police given seven more days on McCann search site

ITV News Central correspondent Gareth Owen said British police had been granted another seven days to work on the search area in Praia da Luz.

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