German investigators are searching a garden in Hanover for any clues that could help them in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
The investigators arrived at the site Monday and a spokesperson says they will continue excavating and looking for clues until later in the week. A spokeswoman for the Braunschweig prosecutor’s office confirmed that the activity was linked to the McCann investigation, but could not comment further, according to the Irish Times.
McCann has been missing since May 3, 2007, when authorities say she was believed to have been abducted from a resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal. The disappearance of the child triggered an international search, which continues.
Authorities and investigators close to the case suspect that German national Christian Brueckner, 43, is responsible for her kidnapping.
Brueckner, who is currently serving jail time in Germany for drug trafficking, was sentenced last year to seven years in prison for reportedly raping a 72-year-old American tourist in Pradia da Luz, according to reports.
His conviction in Portugal is under review after his lawyers said he had been extradited – this time from Italy, where he had traveled – on another charge and therefore, under the rules of the European court of justice, he cannot be tried for a different crime.
Brueckner is also being eyed by authorities in the abduction of three other kids including a 6-year-old boy who in 1996 went missing in Portugal, according to multiple news reports including The Guardian.
Brueckner is also suspected in a string of unsolved crimes, reportedly including a 2005 attack on a 10-year-old British girl in the same Portuguese resort from which McCann disappeared. The 2005 incident is one of a series of incidents where young girls were believed to have been targeted by Brueckner, according to The Irish Times.
Authorities say they have “concrete evidence”, but not “forensic evidence” that McCann was killed by Brueckner.
Through his attorney, Brueckner has denied any involvement in McCann's disappearance.