A self-styled investigator hunting for Madeleine McCann says he has found a burial site under a driveway in the Portuguese town where she went missing in five years ago.
Stephen Birch, who invested £30,000 of his own money investigating the case, says the site in question is on a property not far from where the toddler was last seen.
Birch, a South African property developer has asked Portuguese authorities to excavate the area after making ground radar scans, but the request has been refused.
Birch told the Huffington Post: "The scans indicate that the ground beneath the gravel driveway was disturbed and something lies buried underneath the driveway."
Birch received a letter from the Portuguese Prime Minister's office on September 10, which included a response from Almeida Rodrigues, head of Portugal's judicial police.
According to the letter, authorities examined the same location with a ground-penetrating radar device in 2007 and did not find any areas of interest.
"Therefore, we are of the opinion that this does not justify the realisation of the desired diligence by the advocate," they wrote.
Carter-Ruck, the law firm representing Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann, said they stand behind the decision of the authorities not to dig.
He told Sky News: “All I want to do is solve the mystery and bring closure to Madeleine’s family. I am convinced she lies where I have scanned.
“I’ve had the scans analysed and they show digging, a void and what could be human bones.”
Madeleine was nearly four-years-old when she vanished in 2007 from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz as her parents dined with friends at a tapas bar nearby.
Her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, continue their search, claiming: “There is absolutely nothing to suggest that Madeleine has been harmed.”
A spokesman for Scotland Yard told Huffington Post UK he was "not prepared to discuss specific lines of inquiry."
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