Madeleine police search new area

Witney Gazette: Kate and Gerry McCann have not travelled to Portugal where their daughter went missing in 2007 Kate and Gerry McCann have not travelled to Portugal where their daughter went missing in 2007

British police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann were focusing their attention today on a new patch of scrubland close to where she went missing in Portugal seven years ago.

Officers in Metropolitan Police uniform were seen studying a flat area of ground at the opposite end of the area which has seen activity over the past week.

The area of scrubland in Praia da Luz on the Algarve has been marked in various places with tape to highlight areas of interest to police.

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

The search entered its fifth day today, with officers previously 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 void, 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.

Yesterday, Madeleine's parents said they were "encouraged" by the progress made by police as they search for clues as to what happened to her after she disappeared from the resort in May 2007, aged three.

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

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