Source AP ©

Police seal off scrubland in southern Portugal in search for Madeleine

Police investigating the disappearance of 4-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann sealed off an area of remote scrubland in southern Portugal Friday after receiving an anonymous tip she might be buried in the area, news reports said.

A section of the Portuguese police, known as GNR, started searching the area about 15 kilometers (nine miles) from where the girl vanished while on vacation with her family, Portuguese news agency Lusa reported.

News reports said that police had closed the roads leading into the area since early Friday.

Earlier this week, the Dutch paper The Telegraaf said it had given police an anonymous letter it received with a map showing a remote location in southern Portugal where Madeleine might be buried.

Police say they have followed up dozens of leads, included reports of sightings of Madeleine by the public, but none has yielded results.

Madeleine disappeared on May 3 from a hotel in Praia da Luz, a resort town in Portugal's Algarve region. Her parents left her and her 2-year-old twin siblings alone in their hotel room while they dined at a nearby restaurant.

Since then, the couple has launched an international campaign to find the girl, enlisting the aid of celebrities including soccer star David Beckham and J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books.

Kate and Gerry McCann have also traveled to Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and Morocco to plead for help in finding their daughter. They fear Madeleine may have been taken out of Portugal but say they have no plans to return to Britain without her.

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