The disappearance of 3-year old Madeleine McCann in Portugal in 2007 gripped the world, and for over a decade that case went unsolved. But police investigators are now closer than ever to finding the little girl as the on-going search took a rather grim turn recently.

Police in Germany linked her abduction to a suspected called Christian B, and through an investigation on Monday started to excavate a plot in the German city of Hanover.

The suspect is a registered sex offender and is alleged to have been in the Praia da Luz area where McCann went missing.

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Media sources claimed that the search of the plot is a “dramatic development”, which has also been confirmed by local authorities.

“The public prosecutor’s office and the federal police have confirmed to local media… in Germany that this is connected to the Madeleine McCann investigation,” the source said.

On Wednesday authorities have been searching near a line of trees.

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“Since this morning an area of trees has been cleared. Police are there, there are forensic officers there as part of this investigation. A mini excavator is being used to dig the land and there is some activity at least just off the side of the road there,” the insider confirmed.

At the time it isn’t known what the police are searching for – whether its evidence of a crime or McCann’s remains.

“It’s not clear exactly what police are looking for, whether it’s potential evidence directly linked to the disappearance of Madeleine or whether it’s something that’s more connected to Christian B the suspect.”

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