‘Maddie’s parents will be delighted’: Madeleine McCann case gets $370K boost in fresh funding

‘Maddie’s parents will be delighted’: Madeleine McCann case gets $370K boost in fresh funding
Kate and Gerry McCann, the parents of the missing British girl Madeleine McCann, hold up a picture of her during a press conference in 2007 (Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)

Warning: This article contains a recollection of crime and can be triggering to some, readers' discretion advised.

PRAIA DA LUZ, PORTUGAL: Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the three-year-old girl who went missing on May 3, 2007, in Portugal and who would now be 19 years old, are likely to receive a further of around $370K in government funding. The Met's involvement, known as Operation Grange, is set to get new funding if a request to the Home Office is approved. So far Operation Grange has received an estimated $15 million since the year 2011.


According to The Sun, a source close to the investigation said, “This is excellent news. Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann will be delighted. It gives fresh hope.” The Home Office confirmed it had received an application, stating, “It will be considered, as usual, in line with our Special Grant process”. Peter Bleksley, a former Met detective, said, "As long as there are unanswered questions I can see why there is a case. But, in this time of squeezed budgets, I can also see why eyebrows would be raised at further funding. I understand the frustrations of families that have missing children who do not have the luxury of such ongoing funding.”


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Who is the prime suspect?

The key suspect in Madeleine's disappearance is Christian Brueckner, who worked in the same Praia da Luz resort from where the three-year-old went missing. He is still being investigated by police. As per The Sun, he is in jail for rape and could be charged this year.


According to the Independent, Brueckner was declared a prime suspect by Portuguese police in April 2022. Born in Germany in 1976, Brueckner was believed to be in Portugal between 1995 and 2007 as he worked in the food industry. He has been previously convicted of sex crimes against young girls. He is charged with the rape and murder of a 72-year-old woman, Diana M, in nearby Praia da Luz in 2005. In 2019, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for that crime and is currently in prison in Oldenburg. He has also been charged with multiple sex offenses which allegedly took place between 2000 and 2007. As per CBS News, he raped three women, including an Irish national named Hazel B, who was 20 when she was attacked in her apartment in Praia da Rocha in 2004. 

Christian Brueckner is a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case (Carabinieri Milano via Getty Images, Photo by Handout/Getty Images)
Christian Brueckner is a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case (Carabinieri Milano and Handout/Getty Images)

When the reports of his 2005 attack surfaced, Hazel B told The Guardian in 2020, "My mind was blown when I read how he had attacked a woman in 2005, both the tactics and the methods he used, the tools he had with him, how well he had planned it out. I puked, to be honest with you, as reading about it took me right back to my experience.” 

Christian Brueckner's other rape and murder cases

In 2020, he was being investigated over the rape and murder of Tristan Brubach, a 15-year-old boy from Germany. He has also been linked to the murder of Carola Titze, 16, who went missing while on holiday in De Haan, Belgium on July 5, 1996. Her body was found mutilated later. In a statement, a prosecutor in Braunschweig, Germany, said in October 2022, as stated by BBC, "The investigation concerning the case of Madeleine McCann is ongoing separately from these charges. Due to the ongoing investigation the prosecution cannot at the current time give any information on the status of that investigation."

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 ‘Maddie’s parents will be delighted’: Madeleine McCann case gets $370K boost in fresh funding