As of July 29, 2020, Madeleine McCann has been missing for 13 years, 2 months, and 14 days.
She disappeared from her bed at a resort in Praia da Luz, where she was staying with her parents on the evening of May 3, 2007. To say the world has been obsessed with this missing person case would be an understatement.
Though her whereabouts remain unknown, there has been movement on her case for the first time in years. Sadly, German prosecutors have stated that they believe she is dead and is investigating the case as a murder inquiry. The Metropolitan Police in the UK have said they were still treating Maddie's case as a missing person investigation, and that they had no “definitive evidence” indicating whether Madeleine is alive or dead.
News broke on July 28, 2020, that police were digging up a private garden in Hanover, Germany, in relation to the Madeleine McCann investigation. It was reported that more than 100 officers along with sniffing dogs were present at the search. "It's not clear exactly what police are looking for, whether it's potential evidence directly linked to the disappearance of Madeleine or whether its something that's more connected to Christian B the suspect," says crime correspondent Martin Brunt.
Christian B has been identified as a suspect in the disappearance of Maddie. He moved to Hanover at the time she vanished. Christian B is currently in prison for drug dealing and is appealing a conviction for the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old American woman in Praia da Luz.
The private garden, located between Hanover-Ahlem and Seelze-Letter, has now been identified as a vegetable garden that Christian B lived in during 2007.
"The local paper here this morning is reporting a neighbor who says that Christian B did live here in a camper van with two dogs around 2007, sometime after Madeleine disappeared in Portugal," says Brunt.
Wolfgang Kossack, 73, who owns the plot next to Brueckner's former allotment, has spoken with the media who have flocked to the scene. Speaking to MailOnline , Mr. Kossack said: "Christian Brueckner had the garden next to mine. He arrived in 2007 and left within a year. He told me that he living off the grid, that he had not registered with the authorities – no one knew he was there."
"He never did any gardening. He did not plant anything or try to grow anything. He just sat around drinking beer."
A tent has been put up in the garden, to block the view of the search, along with a large cordon with wire netting. The backhoes and sniffer dogs were back on scene today, July 29, 2020, along with upwards of 100 police officers, whose fleet of vehicles line the side of the small country road. The Federal Criminal Police Office has declared the sky above the garden to be a no-fly zone.
It appears there was a secret cellar to a gazebo that once stood in the garden. Police have been able to locate the cellar, though the gazebo had been demolished. Mr. Kossack said he went on holiday in July 2007. When he returned in August, the structure had been removed and he never saw the suspect again.
The police began the search on Monday and is expected to continue until Wednesday.
After the latest police appeal, Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann said: "We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive, but whatever the outcome may be, we need to know as we need to find peace."