If you’re old enough you probably remember when this case was a cable news sensation 15 years ago. British three-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared in May of 2007 while on vacation with her parents in Portugal. Her parents were having dinner with friends while she and her younger siblings were sleeping in a nearby room. One of the times her mother went to check on the kids, she discovered Madeleine was gone.
Authorities in Portugal initially suggested the girl’s parents were responsible for her disappearance and then dropped the case for lack of evidence. The case has dragged on for years until in October of last year a German prosecutor claimed McCann had been murdered by a sex offender named Christian Brueckner.
Today, CNN reports that the German prosecutor has told a Portuguese TV station that he has “new evidence” that definitively connects Brueckner to the case.
Hans Christian Wolters, who is investigating the case, told Portuguese broadcaster CMTV on Tuesday that investigators had found “new evidence” that connects Brückner, who is a convicted rapist and child sex abuser, to the child’s disappearance. Brückner is yet to be charged.
“The investigation is still going, and I think we found some new facts, some new evidence, not forensic evidences, but some evidence,” Wolters told the broadcaster.
“We are sure he is the murderer of Madeleine McCann,” he said…
Brückner, who is 45, had previously said he had been with his then-girlfriend during the whole night on which Madeleine went missing, but Wolters told CMTV he had “no alibi.”
When asked if his team of investigators had found “something belonging to Maddie” in Brückner’s caravan, where he lived at the time, Wolters said he couldn’t comment on any details, but added: “I don’t want to deny it.”
Brückner is already in jail for a rape that took place in the same areas where McCann disappeared.
Convicted child abuser and drug trader Christian Brueckner, who is behind bars in Germany for raping a woman in the same area of the Algarve region of Portugal from where Madeleine went missing in 2007 when she was three years old, was formally identified as an official suspect last month…
Mr. Wolters, who was not immediately available for comment, said he could not provide details of the ongoing German investigation because the suspect was yet to be informed.
He has previously told Reuters that the naming of Mr. Brueckner as a suspect in the case by the Portuguese prosecutor was designed to interrupt Portugal’s 15-year statute of limitations.
Here’s a recent BBC report on the naming of the suspect by Portuguese authorities a couple of weeks ago. This includes a detailed run-down of the circumstantial case against Christian Brueckner.