According to the Braunschweig public prosecutor’s office, a 43-year-old German is suspected of murdering Madeleine McCann, who has been missing since 2007. The man has multiple criminal records for sexual abuse.
The spokesman for the public prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig doesn’t say much on Thursday afternoon. The key information on the new developments in the case of Madeleine McCann, who had been missing since 2007, was already on the evening before a senior investigator from the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) on the ZDF program Case number XY … unresolved communicated to the public. Accordingly, a 43-year-old German is urgently suspected of having something to do with the disappearance of the then three-year-old British woman in Portugal.
The Braunschweig authorities have initiated proceedings on suspicion of murder. Prosecutor Christian Wolters said on Thursday: “You can see from this that we assume that the girl is dead.”
His statement lasts less than five minutes in total – but this sentence reverberates.
Madeleine McCann has disappeared without a trace for 13 years. The McCann family went on holiday to the Algarve in Portugal when “Maddie” disappeared from a room in an apartment complex in the resort of Praia da Luz on the evening of May 3, 2007. The case triggered a huge media response, photos of the blonde girl with the striking dark line in the right eye went around the world. In the course of the investigation, her parents were also suspected at some point – and were exonerated. There was never a real trace of Maddie. Until now.
“Here is the man who, with his team, has legitimate hopes of being able to clarify the case” Case number XYModerator Rudi Cerne said at the beginning of the broadcast late Wednesday evening – and Christian Hoppe welcomed in the TV studio, senior crime director at the BKA. “The most pressing question right at the beginning: did you find Madeleine McCann?” Asked the moderator. “Unfortunately, I have to answer this question with a resounding no,” said his guest. However, the joint investigations by BKA, Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard) in Great Britain and the Portuguese Polícia Judiciária had led to a possible German suspect who had a criminal record for sex offenses.
The first reference to the man was received in 2013
According to Hoppe, there was already one in October 2013 Case number XY– broadcast a first clue to the man. At that time, Madeleine’s parents Gerry and Kate McCann had spoken on German television about their daughter’s case. However, the information was not sufficient for investigations “and certainly not for arrest,” said the investigator. On the tenth anniversary of the disappearance, there was then a second reference to the same man – but even now more evidence is needed to prove the fact or to rule out suspicions. Despite this wording, Hoppe seems certain that he is after the right man. “The information that we can gain from our investigation leads us to believe that the suspect could be the culprit.”
As on Thursday, he also spoke to prosecutor Wolters about a trial “on suspicion of murder”. The British side does not want to give up on Madeleine, however: a Scotland Yard investigator said the Daily Mail, it is still a missing person case. However, the BKA is in charge of the current trinational investigations.
There are bureaucratic reasons for initiating the procedure in Lower Saxony: the suspect was last reported in Braunschweig. According to the information, it is a 43-year-old who is currently in custody in Germany for a drug offense. He is said to have been sentenced to one year and seven months in prison for marijuana trafficking on Sylt and is currently detained in Kiel. According to the Braunschweiger newspaper At the end of 2019, the man was also sentenced to seven years in prison for raping a 72-year-old American in Praia de Luz in 2005 – the very place where Madeleine disappeared. Because the judgment in Schleswig-Holstein dates from before, the man is said to be housed there. The Image newspaper reported also from a criminal record for the distribution of child pornography.
According to the BKA and the public prosecutor, the suspect stayed almost exclusively in Portugal between 1995 and 2007 and lived there in a house between the towns of Praia da Luz and Lagos. A British investigator described the suspect to the Daily Mail as a 1.80 meter tall man with short, blond hair and a fair complexion. He looked younger than he actually was. The public prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig did not want to comment on The Versatiles inquiries “for tactical reasons” as to why the trail to the 43-year-old has just now become more specific. The report of the Braunschweiger newspaper Spokesman Wolters did not want to comment. The presumption of innocence still applies to the accused.
It has become noticeable with drug offenses and thefts
For this reason, BKA investigator Hoppe had not given a name the previous evening – instead details from the life of the man at the time of Maddie’s disappearance. The then 30-year-old lived on casual jobs in the catering trade in the Algarve. But he also became noticeable with drug offenses and burglary theft in hotels and holiday apartments. The man was also twice convicted of sexual abuse of girls – this fact “may have been hidden from most of the contacts in Portugal,” said the investigator.
A sexual motive was not excluded in the Maddie case, said Hoppe, but it was also possible that the man had originally only wanted to break into the McCanns’ apartment and then saw the opportunity for a sexual assault. Mobile phone data prove that the 43-year-old was near the holiday resort on the evening in question.
At the time of the crime, the suspect had received a call from another Portuguese line using his mobile phone with the Portuguese number +351 912 730 680. The number of the caller was: +351 916 510 683. This participant was not in Praia de Luz during the call, but was nevertheless “a very, very important witness” for the investigators and was urgently sought. Anyone who has information on these two numbers should contact the BKA, the investigator appealed. The Federal Criminal Police Office has set up its own website for information: bka.hinweisportal.de. There is also an official one Wanted search.
The police agency also hopes that the population will help with further details of the crime, including the suspected vehicle. Accordingly, the suspect 43-year-old drove two eye-catching vehicles in the period in question – an aubergine-colored Jaguar XJR6 with a German license plate and a white and yellow VW bus, model T3 Westphalia, with a Portuguese license plate. The Jaguar is said to have had a Munich, sometimes an Augsburg registration. The VW bus did not belong to the suspect, but he apparently used it with the owner’s consent. Anyone who can provide information on the whereabouts and users of these vehicles around May 3, 2007 is also asked to report to the BKA.
At the end of his about 20-minute appearance in the Case number XYShow Hoppe addressed the viewers directly. He asked people who were also victims and who recognized the 43-year-old as a possible culprit to report. In addition, it cannot be ruled out that, besides the actual perpetrator, there are people “who have knowledge of the scene of the crime, perhaps even of the place where the body was deposited, without being an accomplice themselves” https://www.sueddeutsche.de/. “Please share us with your knowledge, “the investigator appealed. Every little detail is of immense importance. “Please think about the seriousness of the crime and the consequences for the victims and their relatives.” If requested, notices could be treated confidentially.
Maddie’s parents were quoted in a recent Scotland Yard statement saying, “We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive, but whatever comes out we need to know because we need to find peace.” Kate and Gerry McCann did not want to comment further, said a spokesman in London – “they want everything to concentrate on the investigation now”.