As the 15th anniversary of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance looms, German authorities—at the request of Portuguese authorities—have formally named a suspect in the case.
If you’re unaware of McCann’s story, on May 3, 2007, while her parents were dining with friends at a restaurant near their Portuguese rental home, McCann was kidnapped from her room while she slept. The only other suspects ever named in her case were her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann.
RELATED: German Police Say the Latest Suspect in Madeleine McCann Disappearance Is Already in Prison for a Different Child Sex Crime
While it may seem strange that Kate and Gerry would leave three young sleeping children alone to go to dinner, authorities have since claimed that it was something Kate and Gerry did before while at their vacation home. Over the last 13 years, there have been over 1,000 suspects and thousands of leads, and potential sightings that have never been confirmed.
As CNN reports, they have since been cleared of any wrongdoing. As reports have reiterated for the last 15 years, Madeleine was only 3 years old when she was taken.
She was asleep next to her younger twin siblings at the time. She has never been found and her siblings were unarmed in the process.
For years, her parents have not given up hope for some sort of breaking in her case. While the suspect has not yet been named publicly, it remains unclear if this suspect is the same man German prosecutors alleged they have evidence against in 2020.
However, an interview with the man’s lawyer seemingly confirms this to be true.
As Mamas Uncut previously reported, in June 2020, prosecutors claimed that they had evidence against a man who was already in jail for another sex abuse crime and drug-related crime. That man is known to the public as Christian Brueckner.
Back in 2020, Christian denied having anything to do with the 3-year-old’s disappearance. to the BBC, the now 45-year-old prisoner was allegedly living in a camper van just outside of the Portugal the McCann family was staying at the same time Madeleine disappeared.
At the time, German authorities said they had “concrete evidence” that Madeleine is dead and he killed her. However, what that evidence is was never publicly revealed.
Details that were made public were the fact that Christian owned two vehicles—the camper van and a 1993 Jaguar XJR6. The registration for the 1993 Jaguar XJR6 was transferred by the suspect to someone else the day after Madeleine’s disappearance.
The man also received a phone call around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance that lasted 30 minutes. Christian would have been 30 at the time and frequented the Algarve between 1995 and 2007.
“Some people will know the man we’re describing today… you may be aware of some of the things he’s done,” the detective said at the time in his plea for more information. “He may have confided in you about the disappearance of Madeleine. More than 13 years have passed and your loyalties may have changed. Now is the time to come forward.”
Back in 2020, a friend of Christian’s claimed that he admitted to taking kids but said he had nothing to do with McCann’s disappearance. The alleged friend that Christian once told him that “I can transport children, kids, in this space. Drugs and children, you can transport them in this van, it’s a safe space in the van, nobody can find them. Nobody can catch you.”
While authorities have yet to name the formal suspect publicly, Christian’s lawyer spoke to CNN saying action to name a formal suspect “shouldn’t be overestimated.” “In Portugal, the statute of limitations for murder is 15 years, if the period isn’t interrupted. The latter has now been done — presumably out of caution. I do not assume there to be any new findings,” his lawyer, Friedrich Fülscher, explained.
However, according to the BBC, Portugal’s office of public prosecutions denied the above claims, saying their decision to name Christian as a formal suspect is not because of timing but because of “strong indications” of the practice of a crime.
The BBC also reports that the court system could also allow for more time despite the 15-year statute of limitations law sighting that the pandemic could have slowed down the investigation against the suspect.
In fact, Christian has reportedly been on police radar since 2013 when they received their first tip linking him to this specific crime. Christian has yet to be formally charged.
Officer Formally Involved in Madeleine McCann Disappearance Says Evidence Against New Suspect Is ‘Strong’: ‘I Wouldn’t Be Surprised if Charges Follow’
A former police officer who led a 2010 review of the case commissioned by the Home Office also confirmed to the BBC that the case against Christian is strong. “This seems like a really strong case and that’s why I don’t think it is a procedural tick in a box to make sure they don’t miss out because of the statute of limitations,” alleged Jim Gamble.
“I think there’s been a growing case and we should not underestimate the confidence of the German police,” Gamble continued. “I think the circumstantial evidence that I know exists is extremely strong… I wouldn’t be surprised if charges follow.”
It’s unclear just how long it will take authorities to issue formal charges. McCann would be 19 years old this year.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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