New McCann Search Reveals Hidden Shaft, Grave-Like Hole

Search could continue for another week
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2014 7:03 AM CDT
New McCann Search Reveals Hidden Shaft, Grave-Like Hole
A British policeman, left, wearing a forensic suit and a Portuguese policeman stand by a tent inside a cordoned-off area, in Praia da Luz, Wednesday, June 4, 2014.   (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

The renewed investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance, now focusing on scrubland located a short distance from where the British girl vanished in 2007, has revealed a concealed shaft beneath a sheet of corrugated iron, the Guardian reports. Forensic officers examined the site for hours yesterday beneath a white tent that shielded their work from view. According to Portuguese media, the area, a 5-foot by 3-foot shaft covered by an iron sheet and mounds of dirt, was once a storage box where children played; the sheet is believed to have shielded the shaft from view for years.

That's not the only potential lead uncovered in the 15-acre lot in Praia da Luz. Detectives also found a grave-like hole, but newspaper Correia da Manhã reports officers said it was "not compatible with that of a body." Manholes some 20 feet from that site are apparently being explored as well. The search using sniffer dogs and ground-penetrating radar was expected to end this week but will probably stretch into a second. Scotland Yard has requested an extra seven days and is awaiting Portuguese police approval, the BBC reports, noting that could mean "a significant find." Officers have also been approved to check out two other sites. Read much more on the McCann case here. (More Madeleine McCann stories.)

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