POLICE investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have launched a search of the beaches where their prime suspect spent time and drawn up a new list of potential witnesses.
Suspect Christian B is thought to have been living in a camper van around the Praia De Luz resort at the time the three-year-old vanished while on holiday in May 2007.
He was named as a suspect by German police last month following a conviction in December for the rape of a 72-year-old woman in the resort in August 2005.
He is known to have lived in a remote property in the hills outside Praia de Luz but to have abandoned it and begun living in a 1980s VW T3 Westfalia camper van sometime in late 2006.
A ten-person team of police, firefighters, and divers have now begun a search of a network wells in the area as part of the hunt for Madeleine's body.
Following a search of three wells on Thursday, a source said: “Those well searches are unlikely to be the last.
"They were the most obvious, close to Boca do Rio beach where Christian B stayed and next to the road.
"At least 20 more will need to be checked.”
Christian B sold his van for scrap in 2017, but fresh claims of sightings have reportedly emerged in recent weeks.
Speaking to the Mirror, a source said: “Since he was named, people have come forward saying they saw his camper van around beaches and camping sites in Vila Do Bispo."
Police have appealed for information from anyone who may have seen Christian B or his van in Praia de Luz around the time Madeleine vanished.
They are also reported to have made their own list of potential fresh witnesses they want to speak with.
Jim Gamble, who previously headed the National Crime Agency’s child unit, has said the evidence implicating Christian B in the case is "substantial".
"The fact police are so heavily re-engaged and carrying out this detailed and difficult search – that all has to be positive,” he said.
Christian B is currently appealing his December rape conviction, and is also serving time for drug offences.
He denies involvement in Madeleine's disappearance.
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