The Madeleine McCann case has gripped the world for seven years. On May 3, 2007, 3-year-old Madeleine vanished from a Argarve, Portugal resort. Despite a massive search, the little girl has never been found. This week, authorities will concentrate their efforts in a grassy field near the Portugal resort.
Authorities confirmed the search was requested by Scotland Yard. On Monday, officers with Britain’s Metropolitan Police joined Portuguese officers to mark and secure the search area.
Officials will focus on a section of undeveloped scrubland, which is surrounded by holiday resorts. The total search area is comparable to three soccer fields.
As reported by BBC News, the search has not yet begun. However, authorities will likely use “ground penetrating radar” to identify any anomalies, including disturbed layers of soil.
The Madeleine McCann update underlines the continued effort to find the missing child. Throughout the last seven years, authorities have identified numerous leads. Unfortunately, no solid evidence was ever found.
Madeleine’s disappearance is specifically compelling, as she apparently vanished from her bed in the middle of the night, while parents Kate and Gerry dined with friends.
The McCanns were at an outside cafe, approximately 200 feet from their vacation rental. Although they could see the door to their apartment, the couple did not see anyone enter the building. At approximate 10 pm, Kate entered the apartment to check on the children. She was stunned to discover Madeleine was missing.
Although they are not considered suspects, the McCanns have received stark criticism for leaving their children alone in the apartment. Kate and Gerry argue that they checked on the children numerous times throughout the evening.
Authorities identified numerous suspects in the last seven years. However, many of the leads were unfounded.
Praia da Luz mayor Victor Mata expects the latest search to lead to another dead end. He said local residents have already suffered through numerous fruitless searches for Madeleine McCann:
“With every search, it doesn’t seem like we’re going anywhere – we’re going backwards… There was a battalion of people out here looking for the child seven years ago… Everybody was looking. Everyone wanted to find her.”
Although he does not agree with the search, Mata said authorities have his full cooperation.
A 77-year-old local resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, shared Mata’s concerns. The man said the region was extensively searched when Madeleine disappeared. He said another search is simply “ridiculous.”
As the Madeleine McCann case continues, some may be annoyed with the disturbance. However, British and Portuguese authorities are not willing to give up.
[Image via Huffington Post]