UK & World News

  • 6 June 2014, 21:47

Madeleine McCann Police Search New Area

British police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Portugal have been looking at a new patch of scrubland close to where she went missing.

Police were seen inspecting a flat area of ground at the other end of the area they have been studying over the past week.

Yellow tape has been placed in various parts of scrubland in Praia da Luz on the Algarve, to highlight areas of interest to police.

Officers could be seen examining the grass-covered, uneven ground inside one marked-out area.

The search is in its fifth day - police had previously been focusing on a hole which had been covered in undergrowth.

Forensics officers sifted through soil in large sieves inside a white tent set up to cover the hole, which was thought to have been used as a children's den.

An item of clothing, believed to be a man's sock, was removed from the scene but was thought to have been ruled out of the investigation.

Madeleine's parents said on Thursday they were "encouraged" by the progress made as police search for clues about what happened to their daughter after she disappeared from the resort in May 2007 at the age of three.

Writing on the Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook page, Kate and Gerry McCann thanked their followers for the support they had received.

"We are being kept updated on the ongoing work in Portugal and are encouraged by the progress," the message said.

"Thank you for continuing to stand by us and supporting our efforts to get Madeleine home."

The land, which is a few minutes' walk from the Ocean Club resort apartment where Madeleine and her family were staying, has been searched before.

Two other areas are also expected to be searched by investigators.

The operation is likely to go into a second week after British police applied to the judiciary to spend an extra seven days there.

It is not clear whether they will work over the weekend and nothing is expected to be carried out on Tuesday as it is a public holiday.