German garden searched in connection to 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann

A garden in northern Germany was searched Tuesday in connection with the 2007 disappearance of then 3-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann.

Investigators and an excavator had been at the garden plot, located in Hannover — about 178 miles west of Berlin — since Monday in connection to the infamous mystery, Julie Meyer, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig told The Associated Press.

“The procedure is taking place in connection with our investigation regarding Maddie McCann,” Meyer told the outlet, noting that while she couldn’t provide additional details, authorities would “still need some more time to finish.”

Sniffer dogs and investigators at the garden plot, who had shovels and rakes, were spotted placing possible evidence into plastic bags, German news agency dpa reports.

Tuesday’s procedure is part of the investigation into a 43-year-old German suspect and convicted pedophile, media reports have named Christian Brückner, who was dubbed “the main focus of our investigation” in early June. Brückner has been on police radar in the McCann case since 2013.

Later last month, a spokesman for the Braunschweig public prosecutor’s office, Hans Christian Wolters, said, “We don’t have the crucial evidence of Madeleine McCann’s body. We expect that she is dead, but we don’t have enough evidence that we can get a warrant for our suspect in Germany for the murder of Madeleine McCann.”

Though Wolters said there is not “enough proof for a trial,” police “have some evidence that the suspect has done the deed.”

Madeleine, who would have turned 17 this May, was vacationing with her family in Praia Da Luz, Portugal, in the country’s Algarve region, at the time she disappeared on May 3, 2007, just nine days before her fourth birthday.

Brückner lived on the Algarve coast at the time Madeleine went missing, and on the day in question, received a 30-minute phone call in Praia da Luz.

The case has been the subject of true crime specials including Netflix’s eight-part series, “The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann,” which dropped on the streamer in March 2019.

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