Police digging at site near Hannover, where chief Madeleine McCann suspect Christian B used to live
A site near Hannover in Germany is being searched by police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
Local media have been informed that heavy machinery is being used in the operation.
Police were digging up the land with 'heavy equipment' including an excavator after fencing off the allotment this morning, four miles outside Hannover where the suspect named as Christian B once lived.
“I can confirm that the search is being carried out in connection with our investigations into the Maddie case,” said Julia Meyer from the prosecutor's office in Braunschweig.
Christian B, a career criminal, was named as the new chief suspect over Madeleine’s disappearance in June after German police released a swathe of new evidence, including details of his cars and phone numbers, urging people to come forward with new tip-offs.
Investigators in Germany said at the time that Madeleine was assumed to be dead, going further than British police who are still treating the toddler's disappearance as a missing-person case.
‘B’ is currently in prison in Kiel for drug dealing, and is appealing against a conviction for the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old woman, also in Praia da Luz, where Madeleine disappeared.
Legal proceedings are currently underway however which could see him released shortly after serving two-thirds of his sentence.
He is known to have lived on the Algarve coast and his Portuguese mobile phone received a half-hour phone call in Praia da Luz around an hour before Madeleine went missing 13 years ago.
Police are attempting to track down the person who placed the call, as a key element in establishing B's whereabouts on the night of Madeleine's disappearance.