German police dig through garden in McCann investigation

German prosecutors say police investigating the disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann in Portugal in 2007 are searching a garden plot in the northern city of Hannover in connection with their probe

BERLIN -- German police investigating the disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann in Portugal in 2007 searched a garden plot Tuesday in the northern city of Hannover in connection with their probe, prosecutors said.

Julia Meyer, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office in Braunschweig confirmed local media reports that police investigators had been at the site since Monday with an excavator in connection with the case.

Investigators with shovels and rakes could be seen on the plot putting possible evidence into plastic bags. Some were wearing white overalls and others were guiding a sniffer dog across the plot, German news agency dpa reported.

“The procedure is taking place in connection with our investigation regarding Maddie McCann,” Meyer told The Associated Press.

Meyer said she could not give any further details on the procedure, adding only that police would “still need some more time to finish.”

McCann was 3 at the time of her 2007 disappearance from an apartment while her family vacationed in the seaside town of Praia da Luz in Portugal’s Algarve region.

German authorities said last month they had identified a 43-year-old German citizen as a suspect in the McCann case and are investigating him on suspicion of murder.

Authorities have not released the suspect’s name, but he has been widely identified by German media as Christian B.