The disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann in 2007 continues to baffle detectives 13 years later.
While on a family trip to Portugal, the child vanished without a trace from her family’s hotel room at a resort in Praia da Luz in the Algarve area while her parents were with friends at a nearby tapas bar.
The Telegraph describes it as “the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history,” one that has never been solved.
Update: June 29
60 Minutes Australia has revealed disturbing evidence in the case of missing toddler Madeleine McCann.
According to the special, which aired on June 28, German authorities had found more than 8000 pieces of evidence in the campervan of prime suspect, Christian Brueckner, which included swimsuits of young girls.
The evidence also suggested that Brueckner filmed his alleged crimes and upon searching, police found thousands of videos and pictures in his mobile home.
Prosecutor Hand Christian Wolters could not disclose whether they found photos of McCann, however, Mark Hoffmann, a Berlin-based Crime and Intelligence Analyst told Liz Hayed that the German sex offender “was into child pornography and torture and he did crimes against children at a very young age and according to the current information, he also filmed his offences.”
Ever since Madeleine McCann went missing on a family holiday in Portugal more than 13 years ago, her beautiful face has haunted us all. But the evil that befell the little girl has never had a name, until now. German prosecutors say they know Maddie is dead, and they have the prime suspect: sex offender Christian Brückner. Now on #60Mins, go inside Brückner’s depraved world and the long fight for justice for Maddie.
Posted by 60 Minutes Australia on Sunday, 28 June 2020
Update: June 16
German prosecutors have reportedly told Madeleine McCann’s parents that she is dead.
Prosecutor Hans Christian Walters, who is leading the investigation, refused to give details on how they had come to the conclusion.
“We have written to the McCanns to tell them Madeleine is dead and explaining we just cannot say what the evidence is,” he said.
“We have concrete evidence that our suspect has killed Madeleine.
“The results of our investigation have been shared but not every detail has been passed to Scotland Yard.”
“We, of course, really consider the fact that it is going to be very hard for the family when we tell them we assume Madeline is dead,” he told The Mirror.
“But we can’t say why she is dead.
“It is more important that we are successful and we are able to get the culprit, as opposed to just putting our cards on the table and tell them why we think she might be.”
Update: June 11
According to The Sun, the night before Madeleine McCann went missing, prime suspect Christian Brueckner, reportedly told his former lover that he had a “horrible job to do” in the area where McCann’s family were holidaying.
“It’s a horrible job but it’s something I have to do and it will change my life. You won’t be seeing me for a while,” he reportedly said.
The Sun also reports that the woman is one of two British former girlfriends of the suspect who were dating him at the time and have now given evidence to the police.
According to the story, they “both live in fear of the German drug dealer” and have asked not to be identified.
The story also reports that Brueckner disappeared the same time McCann did and resurfaced three years later, working in a bar in Lagos.
It was at this bar in 2010 that his other ex-girlfriend suggested he “was a dead ringer” for some of the profiles of suspects and apparently said to him in jest: “You did it, Christian, didn’t you.”
A friend of the former lover has now told The Sun: “He blanked the question and shrugged — then added: Just don’t go there’.”
“The ex-girlfriend with him at dinner didn’t compute what he’d said because she didn’t believe him capable of doing something like that — even though he had been violent before.
“Then Christian went off the radar the day after the abduction. Both his exes became more suspicious when he didn’t return to the area for around three years.
“They read about the witness accounts and realised some of the photofits and artist’s impressions struck a chord.”
Update: June 5
On June 5, it was announced that German prosecutors, who are now taking the lead on McCann’s disappearance, have assumed the three-year-old, dead.
On June 4, 2020, detectives announced Christian Brueckner, a 43-year-old German man, who travelled around Portugal in a camper van at the time of McCann’s disappearance, as a prime suspect.
The man is now under investigation by British and German authorities, with UK investigators describing the development as a “significant new line of enquiry.”
According to the BBC, the man is already in gaol for a sex crime and has two previous convictions for “sexual contact with girls”.
McCann’s disappearance sparked a large-scale police hunt across Europe at the time she vanished, with the most recent search being the Metropolitan Police investigation, which began in 2011.
“Someone out there knows a lot more than they’re letting on,” Detective Chief Inspector Mark Cranwell from the Met Police told the BBC.
The outlet also reported that the day McCann went missing, the suspect in question transferred a Jaguar car to someone else’s name, and that police are now appealing for information about two vehicles in which he owned.
According to Cranwell, the prisoner would frequent the Algarve between 1995 and 2007, staying for “days upon end”, while living a “transient” lifestyle.
These new developments were accompanied by photos of a campervan said to have been owned by the man, and two phone numbers used in a May 3, 2007 phone call.
+351 912 730 680 is the number believed to have been used by the suspect in a call from +351 916 510 683 and police are now urging the person who made the call to come forward.
“They’re a key witness and we urge them to get in touch,” said Cranwell.
“Some people will know the man we’re describing today… you may be aware of some of the things he’s done. He may have confided in you about the disappearance of Madeleine.
“More than 13 years have passed and your loyalties may have changed,” he added while saying, “Now is the time to come forward.”
In April 2019, Australia’s Channel Nine podcast, Maddie, foreshadowed these findings in an interview with Goncalo Amaral, who led the 2007 Portuguese police investigation.
At the time, he revealed that British Police were “preparing the end of the investigation, with a German pedophile who is in prison right now,” while adding that he was “probably going to be the scapegoat.”
“He was investigated by the [Policia Judiciaria, Portugal’s police] at the time [and] when the case ended they discarded him,” he told the Maddie podcast.
“The trailer that he lived in was taken to Germany for testing but nothing was found there.”
In the UK, McCann’s disappearance remains a “missing persons” investigation because she has never been found, however, German investigators are calling it a “murder inquiry”.