Divers search for Madeleine in remote resevoir

Divers searching for Madeleine McCanns body in remote reservoir

Divers have been searching for Madeleine McCann’s body in a remote reservoir, following an underworld tip-off to lawyer Marcus Correia.

Good Samaritan Marcos Aragao Correia is paying for a team of British divers to trawl it – at an estimated £1,200 a day – after an underworld tip-off that she was dumped in a lake just days after being abducted.

And they have unearthed a 17ft cord he believes was used to tie up the four-year-old.

The desolate reservoir in Barragem do Arade – 150ft deep in places – has a beach and a walkway leading to a tower. Marcos says it matches clues he was given, stating: ‘I am convinced this is the place. My sources told me Madeleine was thrown into a deserted lake with murky waters, a beach and lots of trees.

‘I believe this would have been the best place for someone to have dumped the body, based on my investigations.

‘It’s not overlooked, has easy access by car and if you threw the body from the tower the water is 55ft deep there.’

The site is also near to Silves, where a truck driver has reported he saw a woman hand a man a child who looked like Maddie.

Arade Reservoir, accessible via a dirt track, is a few hundred yards from a derelict hilltop diner and a car park used as an unofficial caravan camping site.

The divers are focusing their search on the base of the tower – 15ft from the shore – as Marcos believes the body may have been thrown from there.

Head of the search team Alan Wilson, said: ‘You can’t see anything down there.

‘Everything is black because there is no light. The divers are searching entirely by touch, feeling in the silt for anything suspicious that shouldn’t be there. It’s a long, slow process.’

Marcos has stated that he doesn’t believe Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry, had anything to do with her disappearance.

Meanwhile, Portugese police chief Alipio Ribeiro this weekend admitted his officers showed a ‘certain hastiness’ in making the McCanns suspects.

The McCanns’ spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, last night said: ‘We hope that his comments are an indication police realise there’s no case against Kate and Gerry and that it leads to them being eliminated from the inquiry.’

And of the search for her body, he said: ‘We’re grateful to anyone who feels they have important information in the search for Madeleine.

‘If his search produces significant results he must, of course, share that information with the police and our investigators.’

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