Madeleine McCann: Police dogs 'barked a lot' on entering secret cellar at Christian Brückner's former residence
German authorities investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann conducted a search of a basement where Brückner lived at the time of her disappearance
Sniffer dogs that were being used to search an allotment in Hanover where Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brückner once lived "barked a lot" when a hidden basement was uncovered, it has been claimed. MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) previously reported that investigators from the Braunschweig prosecutor's office and Federal Crime Police Office in Germany launched a search operation at an allotment in Seelze, Hanover, after they were tipped that it had once been home to Brückner.
Brückner, a 43-year-old convicted pedophile who is the prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine, is believed to have lived off-grid at the location in 2007, the same year the young girl was last seen at her parents' holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Witnesses at the scene described police lifting a cement block covering the basement during the first day of digging at the council-owned site earlier this week - neighbors said the structure had been mysteriously demolished in late 2007 or 2008, just months after Madeleine went missing.
According to the Telegraph, officers led a sniffer dog into the underground cellar and which barked when it entered. "The sniffer dogs were barking quite a lot in the morning," one witness said. While the barking may not have had any significance, the Sun reported that the dog could have picked up potential criminal evidence since they are specifically trained to use their sense of smell to alert handlers when they come across human remains and such. They then bring attention to it by either barking or pawing at the ground.
By the evening of Tuesday, July 28, police had dug a two-meter-deep hole at the center of the allotment and had erected forensic tents next to it. The digging continued from 7 am the next day in a different area of the garden, with cement and other heavy-duty materials seen being removed from the site. At least seven police vehicles, including a truck, were present at the scene as well.
Wolfgang Kossack, 73, who owns the plot next to Brückner's former allotment, confirmed that he saw the pedophile living in a run-down shed on the site with his two dogs in 2007 but did not remember him until recently, when he hit international headlines. "Christian Brueckner had the garden next to mine. He arrived in 2007 and left within a year. He told me that he was living off the grid, that he had not registered with the authorities – no one knew he was there. He never did any gardening. He did not plant anything or try to grow anything. He just sat around drinking beer," he shared.
"At the time there was a building on the garden. It was a small wooden structure with only one room to keep tools and other things but it had a kitchen. The building was not really a house, you might call it a shed. But it had a cellar and underneath there would be foundations. This building was destroyed in 2008." He also recalled Brückner talking about his time outside Germany and how he liked living in "southern Europe." The 43-year-old was in Algarve in 2007 when Madeleine mysteriously disappeared and is believed to even have made a phone call to a female accomplice on that fateful night.