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

Just Posted

Adrian Dix with NDP candidates Bob D-Eith (Maple Ridge-Mission) and Lisa Beare (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows) at the Urgent and Primary Care Centre at Haney Place Mall. (Special to The News)
Dix visits Maple Ridge’s new Urgent and Primary Care Centre

There still aren’t enough doctors to staff facility – Meadus

Michelle Shipley shared these pictures taken of Pitt Lake this fall. “Such a beautiful area,” she said. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Late fall reflected in the waters of Pitt Lake

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Police boats were called in to search the Fraser River after a report that a plane had crashed where the river runs between Langley and Maple Ridge. (Shane MacKichan/Special to The News)
Investigation enters final phase, missing aircraft last seen over Fraser River in Maple Ridge

Small aircraft was carrying a student and instructor on June 6

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson announces new infrastructure, flanked by Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows candidate Cheryl Ashlie and Maple Ridge-Mission candidate Chelsa Meadus. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)
Liberals promise transportation infrastructure in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Wilkinson said his party would also add mental health beds at Ridge Meadows Hospital

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson announces an end to the ICBC monopoly if the Liberal Party is elected, during a stop in Maple Ridge. (Neil Corbett/The News)
BC Liberal Leader in Pitt Meadows for announcement

Wilkinson visits Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows riding seen as a key election battleground

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Surrey teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 after an altercation left an elderly man in critical condition. (File photo)
Trial dates set in White Rock manslaughter case

Proceedings against Ross Banner, 71, set for June 2021 in Surrey Provincial Court

The many faces of Daon Glasgow. (Photos: Surrey RCMP)
Glasgow found not guilty of trying to murder transit cop in Surrey

Transit Police Constable Josh Harms was shot Jan. 30, 2019 at Scott Road SkyTrain Station

Most Read