POLICE frogmen are expected to join the search for Madeleine McCann’s body in the murky waters of a Portuguese reservoir today.

Underwater search experts are standing by as the hunt at the Arade Dam enters day two.

PA

The search at the remote site has entered its second day[/caption]

Dan Charity

Officers are combing through the land[/caption]

Dan Charity

The spot is 31 miles from where Madeleine McCann vanished[/caption]

Dan Charity

Divers are expected to join the search today[/caption]

Getty

Kate and Gerry McCann holding pyjamas similar to those Maddie was wearing the night she vanished[/caption]

PA

Maddie was three when she disappeared in 2007[/caption]

Search teams resumed work on a patch of lake bed left exposed by a recent drought at the beauty spot 31 miles from the Praia da Luz apartment where Maddie vanished in 2007.

What appeared to be a large brown evidence bag was seen being loaded into a police vehicle within an hour of the search’s resumption.

Portuguese police sources – assisting German detectives who requested the dam search – said officers had been specifically asked to look out for any signs of cloth or fibres.

And the revelation heightened unconfirmed speculation that teams were looking for remains of the pink pyjamas the three year-old British tot was wearing the night she vanished.

Cops are working on a theory that German prime suspect Christian B snatched Madeleine, killed her and dumped her body at the beauty spot.

Any trace which could be linked to Madeleine found at the site could provide a crucial link to photographic evidence which placed Christian B close to the dam in 2007.

Work at the start of day two focused on cutting back vegetation near the shoreline using strimmers to clear an area for search teams.

Officers later appeared carrying rakes as strimming work continued near a Ford Ranger pick-up parked just above the pre-drought water line.

Two more cops – one with a Nikon camera and another with a clipboard – logged photographic evidence in bright sunshine near the azure water.

A police dog also joined the search and was directed to a spot close to the shoreline.

Frogmen face the grim task of feeling their way through near-pitch black water in the search for evidence or human remains if they are deployed today.

A drought has lowered the water levels at the reservoir, with the worst dry spell in years seen as key to the cops securing a breakthrough.

Sources close to the investigation said they were led there by “credible” new information — and that there were signs the dragnet could finally nail German prime suspect Christian B.

Christian B, 45, is known to have regularly parked his yellow and white VW camper van in a car park close to the water’s edge — a 45-minute drive away.

A Portuguese source told The Sun: “The search is being taken very seriously and is being controlled totally by the Germans.

“They are so sensitive about this information they did not even disclose the exact location of the search area until shortly before work started.


It comes as…

  • Key evidence cops are searching for revealed
  • Cops given £110k of government cash to keep search going
  • Ex-cop says lake search is best chance of finding tot
  • Lawyer who searched dam says cops need a ‘miracle’
  • Police with dogs scours remote site after ‘vid leak’
  • Five clues linking Maddie & suspect Christian B

“They asked Portuguese officers assisting them to look for any evidence — but specifically rags.”

Jim Gamble was the UK’s top child protection officer and oversaw a review of the Madeleine case that led to the creation of the Met Police’s current probe, Operation Grange.

He told The Sun: “I think we are looking at the best chance we’ve had in 16 years to find out what happened to Madeleine.

“They must have something definitive.”

But lawyer Marcos Aragao Correia, who organsied the original dive search of the reservoir, says he thinks it will be a “miracle” if they find Maddie.

EPA

Cops are said to be searching for fibres from the tot’s pyjamas[/caption]

Dan Charity

Teams returned to the site today after a day of searching on Tuesday[/caption]

Mr Correia, 47, claims he received a tip off from a contact in the “underworld” who told him that Maddie had been dumped in a “deserted lake with murky waters”.

He organised a team of British divers to wade into the desolate reservoir – which is as much as 150ft deep – in a private search, but the operation quickly ran out of cash back in 2008.

German cops had ordered the operation after forensic analysis of Christian B’s “secret lair” in a ramshackle factory in the German village of Neuwegersleben.

Police raided the site south-east of Hanover in February 2016, searching for the body of missing five-year-old Inga Gehricke, who vanished while on a family outing in Saxony-Anhalt in May 2015.

Detectives discovered more than 8,000 images and videos on USB sticks and hard drives filled with vile child abuse images.

Some have now been linked to the dam site.

Christian B is in jail for the 2005 rape of a US pensioner in Praia da Luz. 

His lawyer Freidrich Fulscher insists he had no involvement in the McCann case.

Asked about the latest events, he scoffed: “Let them search — it’s good weather down there.”

Christian B is the prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine
Christian B is the prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine