Prosecutors in Germany have announced a potential breakthrough in the Madeleine McCann case, and say that they are investigating a man for murder.
The suspect in question is a 43-year-old German, identified as Christian B, who is currently in prison serving an unrelated sentence for drug trafficking.
He was recently convicted of sexually assaulting an American tourist in Portugal in 2005, and is in the process of appealing this conviction.
Police allege that the man bragged to an acquaintance about kidnapping Madeleine McCann, on the tenth anniversary of her 2007 disappearance, which led to a tip-off.
Saying that they assume McCann to be dead, prosecutors told media:
“In connection with the disappearance of the three-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann on May 3 2007 from an apartment complex in Praia da Luz, in Portugal, the Braunschweig prosecution is investigating against a 43-year-old German on suspicion of murder. With the suspect, we are talking about a sexual predator who has already been convicted of crimes against little girls and he’s already serving a long sentence.”
Madeleine McCann was the subject of an eight-part Netflix documentary in 2019, but it was criticised as a “moral failure” offering “no new insight” into the case.
German media report that the man “also has criminal records for the distribution of child pornography, sexual abuse of children, and violations of the Narcotics Act.”
Christian B is now being investigated in connection with the 2015 disappearance of Inga Gehricke, a five-year-old girl who went missing during a family barbecue in a forest in Germany.
He was living in the area at the time, and local prosecutors have reopened the case to investigate his possible involvement.