[imagesource: John Stillwell/PA]
In April and May of last year, authorities believed they had made some major breakthroughs in the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, or Maddie as she is also known.
The surge in tips and new information was linked to the airing of the Netflix documentary, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, and you can find a summary of those breakthroughs here.
Now, more than a year later, police are again touting a new prime suspect, reports the Guardian:
The suspect who is currently in prison in Germany has not been named. He was in the vicinity of the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on the evening of 3 May 2007, and had a telephone conversation that ended just over an hour before the child went missing from the holiday apartment where she had been sleeping alone with her younger twin siblings as her parents dined at a nearby restaurant.
German investigators launched an appeal for witnesses on Wednesday in which they revealed the suspect was a convicted paedophile in prison for sexual offences and drug trafficking. They have initiated proceedings against the suspect on suspicion of McCann’s murder.
In other words, they don’t expect McCann to be found alive, but at least her parents may find some closure in knowing what happened to their daughter.
The suspect is described as white, with short blonde hair, and around six feet tall, and spent the majority of the period between 1995 and 2007 in the Algarve.
Metropolitan police working on the case are clearly excited, with investigators calling this “a significant moment in their inquiry”:
…investigators released details of the telephone number used by the man and a number he had been called from, along with photos of a camper van [below] he was said to have been using to live “a transient lifestyle” in Portugal’s Algarve.
An appeal for information was made for anyone who recognised the numbers, the camper van and also a Jaguar car linked to the man. German police also issued an appeal with additional details on national television.
The camper van is an early 1980s model VW T3 Westfalia camper van with a white upper body and a yellow skirting, as well as Portuguese number plates.
The Jaguar is a 1993 British Jaguar, model XJR 6, with a German licence plate. The day after McCann went missing, the car was re-registered to someone else in Germany.
You can read more on the latest developments here.
UPDATE: According to the Telegraph, the suspect has now been named as Christian Brueckner:
The 43-year-old was was initially convicted of drug trafficking and was found guilty in a German court last year of raping a pensioner in Portugal, according to Spiegel.
He also reportedly has two previous convictions for “sexual contact with girls”…
German newspaper Braunschweiger Zeitung reported the suspect was carrying out a seven-year prison sentence for the rape of a 72-year-old American woman in Portugal in 2005.
Read that full report here.
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