Madeleine McCann was going to turn four a few days after she vanished. The main suspect is in German jail arrested under unrelated charges.
In 2007, Kate and Gerry McCann along with their three kids had gone to Portugal's Praia da Luz to vacation with their friends. On May 3, 2007, Kate and Gerry went to dinner with their friends around 8:30 p.m. after tucking in their 3-year-old daughter Madeleine, of Rothley, Leics, UK, and her siblings in the bedroom at the Ocean Club resort. The parents were nearby and they took turns checking on the kids every half hour.
Gerry went in at 9.05 pm to check and then Dr. Matthew Oldfield, another member of their party, went in at 9:30 p.m. but he doesn't remember definitively if he saw Madeleine in bed or not. Kate went to check at 10:00 pm and found the front bedroom door open. The children had been asleep there. In her 2011 book Madeleine: Our Daughter's Disappearance and the Continuing Search for Her she mentions being somewhat puzzled when the door slammed shut. Then she noticed the breeze coming from an open window, according to EOnline.
When they put Madeleine to sleep with the other kids, it was the last time they saw her because Kate realized that her daughter was missing when she went in to check. It's been 13 years since the parents have been looking for answers, and now they have one.
German police have written to Gerry and Kate McCann https://t.co/kucNr4tZkz— Liverpool Echo (@LivEchonews) June 16, 2020
The prosecutor in the probe has written to the concerned parents to confirm she is dead, however, he said that he "can’t say why." German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters, who is leading the investigation into the main suspect Christian Brueckner, 43, said he doesn't want to jeopardize the investigation, according to the Mirror. "We have concrete evidence that our suspect has killed Madeleine," he said, reports NY Post. He added that there has been an increase in the exchange of information among the German team, Scotland Yard and Portugal. Though, he admitted, "not every detail has been passed on."
"We have re-established contact with the McCann family in writing. We, of course, really consider the fact that it is going to be very hard for the family when we tell them we assume Madeline is dead. But we can’t say why she is dead. It is more important that we are successful and we are able to get the culprit, as opposed to just putting our cards on the table and tell them why we think she might be," he told the Mirror.
Wow... Prosecutors in the Madeleine McCann case say they know she is deceased. They won’t say how they know though? https://t.co/Wj8kP5KC99— Kendall Rae💫 (@KendallRaeOnYT) June 16, 2020
The McCann's Portuguese lawyer Rogerio Alves was supposed to meet Portuguese detectives to see the evidence, but that didn't happen eventually as the prosecutors are unwilling to show their cards yet.
In 2017, Kate had said that she still believes that there is hope that her child is alive though she was unhappy at the speed of the investigation. "Apart from those first 48 hours, nothing actually has changed since then," Kate McCann told Sky News in 2017, according to EOnline. "I think the difficult thing has always been, how will we find her?" she added. The mother-of-three said they could "take heart" in whatever progress that had been made, "and we just have to go with the process and follow it through, whatever it takes, for as long as it takes. But there's still hope that we can find Madeleine."
Over the years, Madeleine's disappearance has been the subject of many books and an unofficial documentary, and all while the investigation has continued. The main suspect, a convicted sex offender, is in jail in Germany. He is in jail due to unrelated crimes. He is facing jail for drug dealing and is currently appealing a conviction for assaulting a 72-year-old woman in 2005 in Praia da Luz. He reportedly lived along the Algarve coast when Madeleine disappeared from there.
"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," the McCann family said in 2020.
Over the years, Madeleine's parents were also suspected of vanishing their daughter by the Portuguese authorities and so was another British national Robert Murat, who lived near the Ocean Club and volunteered in the child's search.