Tragic disappearance that has obsessed Britain — Madeleine McCann

Joanna Estrada
June 5, 2020

The parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann believe the police announcement of a new suspect is potentially a "very significant" development in the case.

Madeleine, from Leicester, was just three years old when she vanished from the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, in Portugal, on May 3, 2007.

German authorities and the Met have asked for information on Madeleine's whereabouts and phone numbers, properties and vehicles linked to a 43-year-old German, who was said to be living in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007.

"A call for witnesses was published yesterday on the internet site of the German criminal police" said Braunschweig State Prosecutor, Hans Christian Wolters in Tuesday's press conference.

In German media reports, the suspect is identified only as Christian B. due to German privacy laws.

Yesterday, German and British police appealed for information about the 43-year-old suspect, a convicted pedophile who is now in a German prison serving a sentence for sexual offences.

Clarence Mitchell, who has represented McCann's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, since the toddler's disappearance, told the BBC he couldn't "recall an instance when the police had been so specific about an individual".

"While there is no evidence that Madeleine is dead, I for one will continue to believe there is still hope she is not".

"We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive, but whatever the outcome may be, we need to know as we need to find peace", the BBC quoted them as saying in a statement.

Investigators said the case remains a missing persons case because there is no "definitive evidence" that McCann is actually dead.

Christian B has had two previous convictions for "sexual contact with girls", police said.

Police said the suspect, described as white with short, blond hair and a slim build, was linked to a camper van seen in the Algarve in 2007 and was believed to be in the resort area in the days before and after May 3 that year.

"The friend's suspicions were aroused and subsequently the Met Police received a call naming him".

The day after Madeleine went missing, Brueckner had the auto re-registered in Germany under someone else's name, although it is believed the vehicle was still in Portugal.

Their spokesman said on Friday: "They are trying to maintain as normal a life as possible under the circumstances, continuing their medical work where necessary and bringing the twins up as best they can, while shielding them from all the attention".

Meanwhile, a mobile phone number belonging to the suspect held a 30-minute call in Praia da Luz around an hour before Madeleine was last seen, according to police.

In 2010, Mr Gamble was appointed by the UK Home Secretary to lead the initial scoping review of the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

Last June it was my curiosity about the world's most infamous missing person's case that made me agree to Antonio's offer to take me and my wife to the beach of light, Praia da Luz - "the most charming village on the western Algarve" - on a private tour around where we were staying in the neighbouring but much larger resort of Lagos. "I'm appealing to you directly".

He added that other circumstantial evidence relating to telephone calls and the changing of auto registration numbers made the suspect "a very, very significant person of interest". He was convicted of the attack in December a year ago and jailed.

The deeply-emotional story dominated British media for months with the little girl's face splashed on front pages and TV screens day after day.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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