German police has reportedly discovered a hidden cellar at the former home of the suspect in the Madeleine McCann case.

After digging for three days, using resources such as an excavator, ground penetrating radar, sniffer dogs and a drone, authorities were desperate for crucial evidence.

The cellar was discovered as investigators dug a deep hole 15 meters wide in the garden of a secluded holiday chalet outside Hanover.

Suspect Christian B, a German drifter, is thought to have lived in a camper van on the site in 2007, shortly after Madeleine vanished from a holiday apartment in Portugal.

One police theory is that the suspect took Madeleine with him as he drove back to Germany, a journey of more than 24 hours.

The German prosecutors investigating Christian B’s alleged involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance have confirmed the search is part of the inquiry, but said nothing further.

Thomas Dressler, who runs a water sports centre close to the riverside search site, said: “None of us really know the people that stay there.

“Yesterday I saw they were doing the investigation and I thought about how young my daughter was at that time, oh God and so close. That gave me the fear and panic of a father.

“I believe the police are looking for Maddie. It's gruesome and I find it chilling that it could happen and so close to us. But of course, I have never seen him myself.”

This article originally appeared on Over60.