Portuguese police have launched searches for Madeleine McCann’s body 20 minutes away from Praia da Luz, according to local reports.
The searches are said to have been conducted in wells in Vila do Bispo, ten miles west of the town where the young girl vanished in May 2007.
Portugal’s state broadcaster RTP says that detectives have discovered “fundamental evidence” relating to prime suspect, German paedophile Christian Brückner, but these claims have not been verified by police.
Previously, police sources told the Telegraph that because the German authorities are running the investigation, the Portuguese police will only conduct searches if they are requested to do so.
Last week, it emerged that Brückner was arrested in Portugal for exposing himself at a playground but never faced trial because he was wanted in Germany for more serious child sex offences and was extradited.
Four children told their parents
Portuguese police are trying to trace a string of Christian Bruckner’s former girlfriends, including a British woman he was in a relationship with before the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
The 43-year-old was involved with a number women during his 12 years living on the Algarve and detectives are appealing for them to come forward in the hope they will be able to help with the investigation.
Bruckner moved to Portugal in 1995 with his German girlfriend at the time and the pair settled in Lagos, around five miles east of Praia da Luz.
The relationship ended when Bruckner was extradited back to Germany to serve a prison sentence for juvenile offences, but he later returned with another girlfriend and they moved into a secluded rented property in the hamlet of Mount Judeu overlooking the resort from where later Madeleine disappeared.
In 2005 he began a relationship with a British
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