Madeleine McCann was killed in Portugal, Christian Brueckner didn't move her to Germany, say investigators
Authorities previously believed prime suspect Christian Brueckner had moved little Maddie to his native Germany
German investigators are reportedly convinced that Madeleine McCann was killed in Portugal. Authorities previously believed prime suspect Christian Brueckner had moved McCann to his native Germany from Praia da Luz, where she disappeared without a trace over 14 years ago.
However, prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters has now revealed that officers believe Maddie, who would have been 18 today, died in Portugal itself, the Daily Mirror reported.
This development comes just days after Maddie's embattled parents Kate, 53, and Gerry, 52, said they would never give up on their quest to find her. Madeleine McCann vanished on May 3, 2007, days before her fourth birthday.
Wolters has previously stated that "concrete evidence" will prove Bruckner is the one who murdered Maddie. However, he has always refused to divulge any details to that effect. When asked where he believed she died, Wolters said: "In Portugal. I am optimistic we will solve this case.” Brueckner, 44, is currently serving seven years in a Kiel prison for the rape of a 72-year-old American woman in the Algarve in 2005.
German law enforcement dug up an allotment in Hanover last July where Brueckner purportedly used to stay. According to the Mirror, they were allegedly looking for any incriminating evidence, including computer drives, which could link him to the case. “Since Christian B did not have the allotment at the time of Maddie’s disappearance, he could not have buried a body there," Wolters added.
Last June, the convicted child sex offender was named a prime suspect in Maddie's disappearance. German authorities are hoping to charge him this year. Brueckner’s lawyer Friedrich Fulscher, however, has maintained that his client has nothing to do with Madeleine.
Last week, the McCanns paid a tribute to their daughter online. “Happy 18th birthday Madeleine. We love you and we’re waiting for you and we’re never going to give up," they wrote.
How Brueckner became the prime suspect in the case
It was in 2017, that the police first received a tip from an unnamed person that Christian Brueckner had made a drunken confession that he knew what had happened to Madeleine.
When the German police looked into Brueckner, they discovered that he had a criminal past — including a case that would tie him to the same resort from which Madeleine was abducted. According to CBS News, official German court documents obtained by '48 Hours' revealed that Brueckner was first arrested at 15 years of age for theft in 1992. In 1994, he sexually abused a child in Germany and fled to Portugal. Five years later, he was extradited to Germany to serve his sentence. Following his release, he returned to Portugal, and resumed a life of crime, stealing from hotels and holiday apartments.
It is also reported that Brueckner was living in his house in Portugal during the time of Madeleine's disappearance, which was one mile away from the resort the child disappeared from. Police also discovered that on the night Madeleine disappeared, Brueckner's cellphone received a call, pinning Brueckner's cell phone location at or near the location of the McCanns' apartment.
Brueckner also left Portugal suddenly on the day after Madeleine's disappearance, placing his Jaguar in someone else's name and moving back to Germany, settling in the small city of Braunschweig. A 2014 search of Brueckner's apartment in the town led to police discovering 391 photo files and 68 video files containing child pornography. He was charged with child pornography and for abusing a five-year-old and was sentenced to 15 months in prison for both crimes.
Furthermore, a search of an abandoned factory once owned by Brueckner led police to discover USB drives containing photos and videos of child abuse, some of which were produced by Brueckner. Police also found three girls' swimsuits inside an RV owned by Brueckner which was on the factory grounds.