Police identify German prisoner as suspect in Madeleine McCann case

British and German police said on Wednesday they had a new suspect in the 2007 case of three-year-old Madeleine McCann, 13 years after her disappearance  


Madeleine McCann was just three years old, on holidays in Portugal with her family, and after having spent the day of May 3rd 2007 at the kids club of the Ocean Club resort at Praia da Luz on the Algarve, disappeared from her bedroom, seemingly without a trace.

Everyone knows the tragic story; the media frenzy, the haunted faces of her parents Kate and Gerry McCann, who have devoted their lives to their daughter, never giving up that they would find answers. None of us forgets their horror, their panic. They were dining only meters away with friends.

On Wednesday, British and German police said they had a new suspect in the 2007 disappearance and are appealing for information on a German man who is currently imprisoned in Germany on an unrelated matter.

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"Significant" developments

"It is now 13 years since Madeleine was reported missing during a family holiday in Portugal and the team of officers leading the Met’s investigation, known as Operation Grange, are today, Wednesday, 3rd June, making a public appeal linked to a significant new line of enquiry," they said in a statement.

They want to speak to anyone who has relevant information on the man, whom they did not name, or the movements of two vehicles linked to him during the period surrounding the disappearance. The vehicles, a Volkswagen camper van and a Jaguar, are in possession of the German police.

At the time of Madeleine's disappearance, the suspect, who is white, was around 30 years of age, had short blond hair, possibly fair. He was about 6ft in height with a slim build.

"We have established that he lived on and off in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007. He is connected to the area of Praia da Luz and surrounding regions, and spent some short spells in Germany," they said.

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Detectives are also appealing for information about two mobile phone numbers to come forward, one of which is believed to have been used by the suspect on the day of Madeleine’s disappearance.

One of the phone numbers was known to be used by the suspect, and received a 30-minute phone call from the second number whilst in the Praia da Luz area on the night of the disappearance, shortly before Madeleine was last seen.

"We will never give up hope"

“We welcome the appeal today regarding the disappearance of our daughter, Madeleine. We would like to thank the police forces involved for their continued efforts in the search for Madeleine," said Kate and Gerry McCann.

“All we have ever wanted is to find her, uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice. We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive but whatever the outcome may be, we need to know, as we need to find peace."


Read more: Why the new Madeleine McCann documentary does nothing but fuel our morbid fascination

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