German police are searching a Hanover allotment in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann

Wednesday, 29th July 2020, 10:07 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th July 2020, 10:08 am
German police are searching an allotment in Hanover, in connection to the investigation of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann (Photo Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)

German police are searching an allotment in Hanover, in connection to the investigation of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

German prosecutors have confirmed that the search is related to the investigation into Christian B, a sex offender currently in prison in Germany.

The main suspect in the case

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In June, 43 year old Christian B, was revealed as the main suspect in the case. He is believed to have been in the area where Madeleine McCann was last seen while on holiday in Praia da Luz in the Algarve, Portugal.

Police said the suspect was regularly living in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007 and had jobs in the area.

Madeleine was three years old when she went missing while on holiday with her family in 2007.

German prosecutors have previously said they have evidence that leads them to believe Christian B killed Madeleine. However, it is not strong enough to take him to court.

Why are police searching an allotment?

The allotment being searched lies in the rural region between Hanover Ahlem and Seelze-Letter. It is around 40 miles from Braunschweig, where Christian B was last registered as living.

According to footage shown on German media, a small excavator is being used to clear the plot. Police officers are combing the ground with rakes and shovels. Work began at the site on Monday 27 July, and is expected to continue until 29 July.

A spokesperson for state prosecutors in Braunschweig confirmed that the search of the allotment plot was taking place as part of its investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine.

They told German media, “The operation is occurring in conjunction with our investigation into murder by the 43 year old suspect.”

In June, the Metropolitan Police said the case remained a "missing persons" investigation in the UK because there was no "definitive evidence" as to whether Madeleine was alive or not.