An employee from the Praia da Luz apartments in Portugal, where Madeleine McCann vanished, claims to have found a letter indicating where she is buried.

The handyman, who has not been named, said he picked up the note, entitled: 'Madeleine Beth McCann' in the doorway of apartment 5A, a year after she disappeared.

The note detailed how Madeleine's body had been dumped in the Barragem Da Bravura reservoir, located nine miles away from the resort.

The man gave the police the note in May 2008. A large area of woodland was searched at the time but there was no underwater search of the reservoir.

"It was raining that night so it was soaking wet when I found it. It clearly said Madeleine's name at the top. It was written in Portuguese," the handyman told The Mirror newspaper.

"Beneath it was a location for what it claimed was her final resting place. I spoke to the other staff about it and they said to hand it in to the Portuguese police. I gave it to them, but I have no idea what they did about it.

"It would be the perfect place to hide a body."

One eyewitness, at the time of the search, said: "I never saw any divers physically trawl through that lake. The water is dark and murky and would need to be searched thoroughly.

"It's so close to Praia da Luz, and such an obvious place to hide a body, that I'm amazed following an actual tip off this hasn't been done."

Clarence Mitchell, a spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann, said: "Kate and Gerry will be informed of what this witness is telling the Daily Mirror.

"We would welcome any new searches. But they cannot comment on any specific detail as that is entirely a matter for Operation Grange and the Portuguese authorities."

Madeleine disappeared from the Ocean Club in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz in May 2007.

A multi-million pound police inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine was ordered by Prime Minister David Cameron in the summer, which saw police officers from the UK undertake extensive searches across Praia da Luz with the Portuguese Policia Judiciaria and the Guarda Nacional Republicana.

The McCanns released a statement at the time saying that they were given no reason to believe Madeleine was found, adding that: "this reinforces our belief that she could still be alive".