FILE - This undated file photo shows Madeleine McCann. British police said on Wednesday June 3, 2020, a German man has been identified as a suspect in the case of a 3-year-old British girl who disappeared 13 years ago while on a family holiday in Portugal. (AP Photo/File)

German man identified as suspect in disappearance of Madeleine McCann

Her parents say the girl disappeared on May 3, 2007, after they left her and her twin siblings asleep in their holiday complex

British police said Wednesday a German man has been identified as a suspect in the case of a 3-year-old British girl who disappeared 13 years ago while on holiday in Portugal.

The Metropolitan Police did not name the man, but said he is 43 and was in and around the Praia da Luz resort area on the Algarve coast at the time Madeleine McCann disappeared on May 3, 2007.

The long-running case of McCann, who vanished shortly before her fourth birthday, has intrigued Britain for years. Her parents say Madeleine went missing after they had left her and her twin siblings asleep in their holiday complex while they had dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant.

An investigation by British police has identified more than 600 people as being potentially significant. Officers were tipped off about the German suspect following a 2017 appeal, 10 years after the girl went missing.

Police said the suspect, described as white with short, blond hair and a slim build, was linked to a camper van pictured in the Algarve in 2007 and was believed to be in the resort area in the days before and after May 3 that year. He is in prison in Germany for an unrelated matter.

Christian Hoppe of Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office told German public broadcaster ZDF that the suspect, a German citizen, is currently imprisoned in Germany for a sexual crime. At the time of Madeleine’s disappearance he was 30 years old. He spent numerous years in Portugal and has two previous convictions for “sexual contact with girls.”

Hoppe said German police aren’t ruling out a sexual motive. They said he may have broken into the holiday apartment and then spontaneously committed the kidnapping.

Police from Britain, Germany and Portugal launched a new joint appeal for information in the case Wednesday.

German police are treating Madeleine’s disappearance as a murder investigation but Britain’s Metropolitan Police has always considered the case a missing persons inquiry.

ALSO READ: Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

missing person

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Dog rescued from rocky ledge in Summerland

Penticton Search and Rescue members perform high angle rescue

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Penticton Speedway prepares for first race of the year

Limited capacity and social distancing protocols in place after track closed for months

Locals vocal about proposed 300-plus home development in Naramata Bench

The developers, Canadian Horizons, will likely apply for land zoning in August or September

Despite challenges, Syilx Nation language students celebrate graduation

Students learning Nsyilxcn, a critically endangered Indigenous language, are celebrating graduation

North Okanagan man gives back for Canada Day

Food packages given away to those living on the streets in Vernon

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Okanagan mine makes way for industrial project

Council holds a special meeting to rezone property

In photos and video: Colourful Canada Day parade rolls through Sicamous

Patriotic procession allows community to celebrate together while maintaining distance

Okanagan arsonist sentenced to 3 years probation

Arsonist must pay $500 to each party affected, no access to drugs, alcohol or fire starters

Northbound lane of Coquihalla closed after vehicle incident near Hope

A northbound lane is closed just north of the Great Bear Snowshed, according to DriveBC

Water floods North Okanagan skate park, playground

Polson Park remains closed following Tuesday storms

Most Read