Madeleine McCann Detectives To Dig Up Resort Where She Went Missing

Detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are planning extensive digs in and around the holiday area where the three-year-old vanished seven years ago.

Maddie's parents, Kate and Gerry, have been briefed by officers about their plans to search three sites near the Praia da Luz resort they were staying at.

Saturday was the anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance and prayers were said for her at her village church in Rothley, Leicestershire.

Dad Gerry, 45, told well-wishers: "The Met are going back out to Portugal very soon. They are chipping away and there is new evidence. We are going to continue hoping we get a happy outcome and one day we will know what's happening."

A source close to the couple told the Mirror: "Kate and Gerry have been told police will be conducting the searches in and around Praia da Luz as soon as they get the green light from Portuguese authorities.

"There will be earth diggers everywhere and it will look very dramatic and it will be a heartbreaking and hugely emotional time for Madeleine's poor parents.

"They don't believe police are acting on any new tip off. They just need to carry out their own digs, looking for any possible clues that Portuguese authorities may have missed on their previous searches.

"It will not be a mere fingertip search of certain areas, it will be full ground searches, using radar and other equipment. It is such a sensitive part of their investigation but it has to be done.

"Police have assured Kate and Gerry that it does not mean they are specifically searching for her body. They are doing searches as much as to rule scenarios out as much as rule them in. They will be concentrating on several different places at different phases.

"Certain areas should have been searched properly way back by the Portuguese authorities but were not."

Kate and Gerry will not be going to Portugal but will be kept updated throughout.

The source revealed the dig will form a routine part of the Met's cold case review into Madeleine's disappearance.

Police will dig two areas of land surrounding the Ocean Club's Apartment 5A, where Madeleine vanished on May 3 2007, and an area on the nearby beach.