A suspect has been formally identified in the 15-year-old case of missing British toddler Madeleine McCann — though his name has not officially been released.

Madeleine McCann. (AP Photo/London Metropolitan Police, File) 

The prosecutor’s office in Faro, Portugal, said that, at their request, German authorities named the man an official suspect. He has not been charged.

The suspect’s lawyer confirmed to CNN that the man is Christian Brueckner, who is in a German jail after a rape conviction.

It is the first time Portuguese prosecutors have identified an official suspect in the case since Kate and Gerry McCann, Madeleine’s parents, were named suspects in 2007. They were later cleared.

Madeleine was 3 years old when she vanished from her bed on May 3, 2007, during a family vacation in the Algarve region while her parents were dining with friends at a nearby restaurant. She has never been found.

German prosecutors revealed in June 2020 that they had evidence that a man identified only as “Christian B.” had killed the girl but said there was not enough evidence to charge the suspect in court.

The 45-year-old suspect has not been charged with any crime relating to the disappearance and has denied any involvement.

He lived in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007 and burgled hotels and vacation condos, according to court documents seen by Reuters in 2020.

In 2019, he was sentenced to seven years for raping and robbing a 72-year-old American woman in her home in the Algarve.

Portugal’s Judiciary Police handed over documents with hundreds of names related to Madeleine’s case, including Christian Brueckner, to British authorities in 2012, according to the force.

German police received their first tip-off linking Brueckner to Madeleine’s case in 2013.

The suspect had previously been convicted for sexually abusing children, the German State Prosecutor’s Office of Braunschweig, in the state of Lower-Saxony, said in a 2020 statement. He was being investigated for “possible murder” in connection with McCann, the office said at the time.

The reasons that led Portuguese prosecutors to identify a suspect now are not clear but it could be related to Portugal’s 15-year statute of limitations for crimes with a maximum prison sentence of 10 years or more.

Brueckner’s lawyer, Friedrich Fulscher, said he believed the latest “measure taken by the Portuguese authorities should not be overestimated” but could be seen as a formal legal tool.

“In Portugal, the statute of limitations for murder is 15 years, if the period isn’t interrupted. The latter has …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

      

Madeleine McCann disappearance now has official suspect

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *