Madeleine police search scrubland 15th June 09:39
Posted by cotojo on June 15, 2007
Portuguese police have started searching an area of scrubland, just nine miles from where Madeleine McCann was abducted.
Police vans, one carrying sniffer dogs, moved in at first light in the village of Arao, not far from Praia da Luz.
It is now 43 days since the four-year-old was taken from her bed as she slept in the Algarve resort.
A section of the police, known as GNR, cordoned off the road in the tiny village as they carried out their search.
Two days ago Portuguese police were told about an anonymous letter alleging that Madeleine had been buried under rocks in this area.
The information was sent to a Dutch newspaper, The Telegraaf. It claimed her body was just seven metres from the road.
Portuguese police started investigating the claim on Wednesday but it has taken until Friday to start any formal search proceedings.
The village which has been cordoned off lies just north of the main road from Praia da Luz to Faro.
The road leads up to a myriad of remote hillside tracks which fan out into farmland and wooded areas.
The weather was overcast as police carried out their search, with periods of unseasonal rain. The police vans were followed by seven unmarked cars.