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Divers Find Cord, Sock in Reservoir Search for Missing Toddler Madeleine McCann

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Madeleine McCannAP

A team of divers has resumed its search of a remote Algarve reservoir in the hunt for missing Madeleine McCann.

So far they have recovered nothing but several lengths of cord, some plastic tape and a single white, cotton sock.

Human rights lawyer Marcos Aragao Correia is funding the private search in the belief that Madeleine's body was thrown into the Barragem do Arade shortly after being killed by an abductor.

He claims he was told of the girl's fate by an underworld contact.

It's the second time the lawyer has paid for divers to explore the reservoir which lies in rolling hills a 20-minute drive from Praia da Luz, the holiday resort from where Madeleine vanished in May last year.

In December - when Portuguese police refused to act on his claims - he paid around £3,000 for a first search.

Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, have dismissed Mr Correia as a self-publicist and believe there is no evidence to suggest there is any link between their daughter and the reservoir.

They don't believe Madeleine is dead and want any search to concentrate on finding her alive.

Mr Correia told Sky News: "The Portuguese authorities refused to carry out the searches themselves, as is their obligation. Any possibility that she may be in the lake should be taken seriously and duly investigated.

"They completely refused to give my tip-off any credibility whatsoever, so I took it upon myself to search."

He said that whatever his divers recover will be handed to the McCanns' private investigators as potential evidence.

Five divers are being helped by two firefighters who specialise in the recovery of bodies.

Their search is complicated enough, but they've also discovered that the bottom of the reservoir has layer of soft mud four metres thick, into which a weighted body would sink and disappear.

Last week, Portuguese police briefed a senior British detective on questions to be put to the seven friends who were dining with the McCanns on the night Madeleine disappeared from the holiday apartment where she was sleeping with her twin brother and sister.

That re-questioning is expected to be carried out in the next few weeks.