Madeleine McCann: Prosecutors claim British toddler may have been trafficked before death

'We are sure Christian Brueckner is the murderer of Madeleine McCann,' said Hans Christian Wolters, the German lawyer in charge of the inquiry

                            Madeleine McCann: Prosecutors claim British toddler may have been trafficked before death
Prosecutors in charge of the criminal inquiry into Madeleine McCann’s (L) abduction revealed that she could be sold before being killed by the suspect (Photo by Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre/Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)

Madeleine McCann, the British toddler, may have been killed after being abducted and sold to a child trafficking group, according to prosecutors. During an interview shown on Portuguese television, Hans Christian Wolters, the German lawyer in charge of the criminal inquiry into her abduction, revealed the information. Madeleine Beth McCann had vanished from her bed in a holiday apartment at a resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on the evening of May 3, 2007. The disappearance was often dubbed as the 'the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history.’

Christian Brueckner, a convicted sex offender, was named a suspect in the case by police in Portugal last month, and he has been under investigation by German investigators for two years. During that period, they've been constructing a case against him, but while saying last week that his team had discovered ‘new evidence,’ However, Mr Wolters said Bruckner will not be prosecuted anytime soon.


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The prosecutor responded to a question from journalist Sandra Felgueiras during an interview aired on Friday, May 6, on whether he was sure Brueckner kidnapped Madeleine and killed her, “We are sure he is the murderer of Madeleine McCann. But his answers to other questions prompted new speculation as to whether the former drifter may have had an accomplice, or the youngster may have been sold before being killed.” 

Kate and Gerry McCann hold an age-progressed police image of their daughter during a news conference to mark the 5th anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, on May 2, 2012, in London, England. The McCann's today stated that there is "no doubt" that authorities will re-open the investigation into their daughter's disappearance. Three-year-old Madeleine went missing while on holiday with her parents in the Algarve region of Portugal in May 2007. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)


He then said, “I can only say that at the moment we have one suspicious person, and this is Christian B. There’s no other person for us who is suspicious. But he later conceded there was a possibility the youngster had been sold. I am not allowed to speak about these details. Maybe it’s a possibility.” It's not the first time that detectives looking into the 15-year mystery surrounding the child's disappearance have suggested she was trafficked. Former Scotland Yard officer Colin Sutton argued five years ago that the most plausible and realistic scenario for Madeleine's abduction was a 'kidnap to order.' 

MILAN, ITALY - This undated handout image supplied by the Carabinieri Milano shows a police mug shot of Christian Brueckner, a suspect in the disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann in 2007 from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal. The image was taken in 2018 in Milan where Brueckner was arrested and extradited to Germany for the rape he is currently imprisoned for. (Photo by Carabinieri Milano via Getty Images) (Photo by Carabinieri Milano via Getty Images)


According to the Daily Mail, the possibility that the unsolved crime was committed by a child trafficking group has never been proven. Madeleine was three years old when she vanished while on vacation in Portugal on May 3, 2007. German authorities named Brueckner as a murder suspect in June 2020, although he has allegedly denied any participation in the crime and has not been prosecuted. Earlier, the father of Madeleine McCann gave a televised interview in which he stated that he believes his daughter is still alive and that when they are reunited, he will give her a cuddle.

Kate and Gerry McCann, the parents of the missing 4-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann, display a poster of their missing daughter during a press conference on June 6, 2007, in Berlin, Germany. Kate and her husband Gerry are in Berlin to spread the word in the search for their missing daughter Madeleine who disappeared from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal on May 3, 2007. (Photo by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)
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