German child abuser Christian Brueckner, 44, has been made an official suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann by the Portuguese authorities on Thursday. The suspect is currently in prison in Germany after raping a 72-year-old woman in 2005 in Praia da Luz, the same area Madeleine disappeared in 2007.
Madeleine McCann was a 3-year-old British toddler when she disappeared almost 15 years ago, in Praia da Luz in the region of Algarve in Portugal, while on holiday with her family. Also known as Maddie, she went missing from her family’s holiday rental apartment while her parents had dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant.
Christian Brueckner has been made an “arguido”, which translated to “named suspect”, but has not been arrested or charged. The only other suspects were Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann who were named suspects in 2007 but later cleared.
The investigation has been conducted with the help of the British and German authorities. However, Christian Brueckner’s name has been in the media regarding this case previously, as in June 2020, German police stated that Brueckner was likely responsible for the disappearance and that Madeleine was likely dead. However, the case continues to be treated as a missing person case.
The Portuguese authorities’ decision to make him an official suspect could have been caused by the 15-year limit for prosecuting serious crimes in Portugal, which will expire next month.
Brueckner lived in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007 and along with raping a woman in 2005, stole from hotels and holiday rentals, falsified passports, and was also caught stealing fuel from a Portuguese harbor.
He is also being accused of raping a 20-year-old girl in the Algarve in 2004 to which he will face trial this year.