Madeleine was almost 4 years old when she went missing in Portugal's Praia da Luz in 2007. She had been holidaying with her family.
The Madeleine McCann case is progressing faster since German prosecutors found their prime suspect, Christian Brueckner, 43. The chief prosecutor in the case, Hans Christian Wolters, said he is "confident" with the investigation, according to the Sun UK. Hans' comment might bring some hope to Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann.
Madeleine was almost 4 years old when she went missing in Portugal's Praia da Luz in 2007. She had been there with her family, which included her twin siblings who were only two at the time. Prosecutors believe they have "concrete evidence" that the then-3-year-old little girl is dead, and are prepared to charge the 43-year-old convicted criminal. He is likely going to be charged with three other sex crimes in Praia da Luz.
The prime suspect is currently serving a 21-month sentence on an unrelated drug charge at a prison in Kiel but he won't be getting out any time soon. He will be transferred to Wolfenbuttel in January to start his 7-year sentence for sexually abusing a senior woman in Praia da Luz in 2005.
Since June 2020, German police have released details of his cars and phone numbers and requested people to come forward with new information that can help them solve Madeleine's disappearance. However, the prosecutors have said that it now a murder investigation.
A source close to the investigation said, "Things are moving along in the case and there have been several promising leads and tips, especially from British holidaymakers who were in Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine's disappearance. We are hopeful of a breakthrough. At the moment we do not have enough to charge him with Madeleine's disappearance but the evidence in the other cases is very strong."
"Whether and when charges will be brought in these cases cannot be predicted at present. I am also very confident with the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance but due to the scope of the case, the other proceedings can be expected to conclude earlier," Hans had said.
The 43-year-old used to live in Algarve between 1995 and 2007, and the investigators said that he received a phone call from a Portuguese number around the time of Madeleine's disappearance in May 2007. He used to hang around the area doing odd jobs and had also burgled hotel rooms and holiday flats.
Recently, the investigators searched an allotment outside of Hanover to look for digital storage devices he owned, but his lawyer accused them of "desperation." A leaked memo from Portuguese investigators, who are also part of the search, showed that they were "shocked" by the lack of concrete evidence against the prime suspect. Meanwhile, the German authorities have maintained that they have the necessary evidence to prove that Madeleine is dead.
The prime suspect was investigated over two other missing children as well. A similar case had occurred in Germany in 2015 when a 5-year-old girl went missing, as per the Guardian. Authorities also looked for connections with the disappearance of a 6-year-old German boy in Portugal in 1996. The 43-year-old German man has previously been convicted for rape and is known as a child sex offender. He had reportedly fantasized about abducting and sexually abusing minors in a 2013 online chat. He reportedly said he wanted to "catch something small and use it for days," the Guardian reported German news organization Der Spiegel as saying.
Police in Germany, the UK, and Portugal have made a major appeal to the public to help them. Since then, British tourists in Portugal have shared some "interesting" photos with the police.