German police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have this morning resumed their search of an allotment near Hanover.
The site is around 40 miles from the city of Braunschweig, where main suspect Christian B was last registered as living.
Footage from the scene shows forensic officers combing the ground with rakes and shovels and heavy machinery being used in the search.
Image: Police are digging up the allotment near Hanover
It is unclear exactly what police are looking for, whether it is potential evidence directly linked to the disappearance of Madeleine or whether it is something connected to Christian B.
German prosecutors have said in the past that they have concrete evidence Christian B was involved in Madeleine’s disappearance.
The prosecutors also believe Madeleine is dead.
Image: The search resumed this morning as police and forensic officers returned to the scene
Image: The site is around 40 miles from the city of Braunschweig
Sky’s crime correspondent Martin Brunt said the search was a “dramatic development”, adding that an area of trees has been cleared and a mini excavator has been used to dig the land.
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“The prosecutor who is leading the investigation into suspicions around the German drifter Christian B, and his potential role in Madeleine’s disappearance, has said only that this is connected with that investigation,” Brunt said.
“The local paper here this morning is reporting a neighbour who says that Christian B did live here in a camper van with two dogs around 2007, some time after Madeleine disappeared in Portugal.
“It is a 26 or 27-hour road journey from Portugal to here. So make of that what you will.”
He added: “It is a scene of some activity this morning. It is difficult to see precisely what is going on.
“They have dug a big hole here, around 15 metres long and 3 to 4ft deep. They are sifting and raking through the piles of soil that have been tipped around the edge of that hole and the excavator is now filling the hole.
“There is no indication yet that they have found what they might be looking for.”
Image: Madeleine McCann vanished in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007
Image: Christian B was identified as a suspect in the case last month
Madeleine disappeared from an apartment while her family was on holiday in the seaside town of Praia da Luz in Portugal’s Algarve region in May 2007.
A German citizen, who can be named only as Christian B, was identified as a suspect in the case last month and is being investigated.
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The 43-year-old, who is currently in prison in Germany, spent many years living in Portugal.
He also lived in Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance, and has two previous convictions for “sexual contact with girls”.
Source : Sky News