CONTENT WARNING: This article mentions rape.

Kate and Gerry McCann the parents of Madeleine McCann have finally broken their silence after Portugese authorities confirmed a German man had been identified as a suspect in their daughter’s disappearance. Madeleine McCann was declared missing 15 years ago while the family was on holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

“We welcome the news that the Portuguese authorities have declared a German man an “arguido” in relation to the disappearance of our beloved daughter Madeleine,” the parents wrote in a post to the Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook page.

“Arguido” is Portugese term meaning “named suspect” or “formal suspect” as per The Guardian.

“This reflects progress in the investigation, being conducted by the Portuguese, German and British authorities. We are kept informed of developments by the Metropolitan police.

“It is important to note the “arguido” has not yet been charged with any specific crime related to Madeleine’s disappearance.

“Even though the possibility may be slim, we have not given up hope that Madeleine is still alive and we will be reunited with her.”

The man has not been charged and was identified as the suspect at request of German authorities.

The man’s identity was revealed to be German man Christian Brueckner who was named as a suspect in 2020.

It’s the first time Purtuguese authorities have named an official suspect since Madeleine’s parents were cleared in 2007.

Brueckner is already in prison serving a seven-year sentence for the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old American woman. The attack took place in Praia da Luz, at the same resort Madeleine disappeared from.

Police alleged Brueckner bragged to an acquaintance about kidnapping Madeleine McCann which led to a tip-off.

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.”

Prosecutors told media they assumed Madeleine to be dead.

Brueckner has not been charged and has denied any connection to the case.

This is a developing story. We’ll update you when we know more.


Help is available.

If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.

If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online

Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.