Police accompanied by sniffer dogs searched Portuguese scrubland on their hands and knees today hunting for clues to the disappearance seven years ago of little Madeleine McCann.
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A team from London's Metropolitan Police fanned out and scoured the area of wasteland the size of three football fields just 300 yards from the vacation apartment Madeline and her family were staying at when she disappeared in 2007.
Officers were on their hands and knees carrying out finger tip searches as well as using sniffer dogs brought in especially from Britain, meticulously searching certain parts of this vast wasteland, concentrating on specific areas and marking them with yellow flags.
Once those areas of interest were isolated, this afternoon they began working feverishly, digging, using spades and taking samples from the earth to test.
Scotland Yard said they are keeping Madeleine's parents, Kate and Jerry McCann informed.
The McCanns have been desperately searching for their daughter ever since she vanished in 2007 from a plush Portuguese resort on the Algarve.
Her parents had been dining at a restaurant just a stone’s throw away checking on their kids through out the night. When Kate McCann went to check on them at approximately 10 p.m., she discovered 3-year-old Madeline was missing.
And after launching a TV appeal eight months ago it spurred thousands of calls, new clues about suspects and new lines of inquiry leading detectives to search these areas.
The team has been given permission to conduct searches on three sites that are within the vicinity of the apartment until Friday.
Portuguese police had closed the case in 2008 after authorities had detected that no crime had taken place. Last year, the prosecutor's office in Lisbon reopened the investigation, saying new leads had emerged during a review.