Lisbon-Portuguese prosecutors said Thursday that a man was officially identified as a suspect in the disappearance of British infant Madeline McKahn 15 years ago.
This is the first time a Portuguese prosecutor has identified an official suspect in this case since Madeline’s parents Kate and Jerry McCann were nominated as suspects in 2007.
Madeline disappeared from her bedroom on May 3, 2007, during a family trip in the Algarve region, while her parents were dining with a nearby friend at a resort in Praia Dulse.
A prosecutor in Faro, the main city of Algarve, did not publicly appoint the man, but said in a statement that he had been identified as a suspect at the request of German authorities.
German police said in June 2020 that Madeleine was considered dead and that convicted child abuser and drug trader Christian Bruckner was responsible for it.
However, since then, 45-year-old Bruckner has not been charged with a crime related to his disappearance. He is behind a bar in Germany for raping a woman in the same area of the Algarve region where Madeleine went missing in 2007.
Brueckner denied being involved in McCann’s disappearance.
The prosecution said the investigation was carried out with the cooperation of British and German authorities.
According to court documents Reuters saw in 2020, Bruckner lived in Algarve from 1995 to 2007 and robbed hotels and holiday flats. He forged his passport and stole diesel from a Portuguese port and was caught.
According to the military, Portuguese judicial police handed over documents with hundreds of names, including Christian Bruckner, to British authorities in 2012.
German police received the first hint in 2013 linking the case of Bruckner and Madeleine.
It is not clear why Portuguese prosecutors began to identify suspects, but it may be related to Portugal’s 15-year statute of limitations with imprisonment of up to 10 years or more.
It will be 15 years since Madeline disappeared next month.