It’s a thriller that has been in comparison with a jigsaw puzzle with too many items lacking — till now.  In 2007, whereas on trip along with her mother and father at a seaside resort in Southern Portugal, 3-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared from her mattress, sparking one of many greatest lacking baby investigations in historical past.Despite a worldwide media storm and a multinational search and investigation, years handed with no solutions till June 2020, when German authorities introduced they’d a suspect — a intercourse offender with a number of earlier convictions. His identify is Christian Brueckner.

On May 3, 2007, Madeleine McCann disappeared from her mattress in her household’s trip rental at a resort in Portugal. In a determined bid to search out their daughter, Madeleine’s mother and father distributed images they’d taken of her from that trip, together with the photograph seen right here.

McCann Family/Handout

“He completely matches the profile of an individual who may probably abduct and or kill just a little woman like Madeleine McCann,” says Mark Hofmann, a Germany-based crime and intelligence analyst.”His cellphone was tracked on the crime scene or no less than subsequent to the crime scene the night time Maddie disappeared,” Hofmann tells “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant, who has been masking the case since 2007.Is the arrest of Brueckner the important thing to fixing the case and at last fixing the thriller of what occurred to Madeleine McCann?”It’s while you put these issues collectively that you simply get that clear focus the place the jigsaw turns into a lot, rather more full,” says Jim Gamble, the previous head of the United Kingdom’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.”For the primary time in 13 years, I’ve to say … I truly really feel here’s a credible suspect,” says Gamble.WHERE’S MADELEINE?KATE MCCANN [to reporters, May 2007]: We want to say a couple of phrases to the one who is with Madeleine. … Madeleine is an attractive, vivid, humorous, and caring little woman. She is so particular. … We want our Madeleine and Madeleine wants us. … Please give our little woman again.  It’s been greater than a decade of ready for Kate and Gerry McCann.   

Gerry and Kate McCann plead for the protected return of their 3-year-old daughter Madeleine.

GERRY MCCANN [to reporters, May 2007]: We will go away no stone unturned within the seek for our daughter, Madeleine.  Years of looking out since their daughter disappeared on May 3, 2007.  KATE MCCANN [2007 BBC interview]: We should be hopeful.  It’s what retains us going and retains us centered.  Now, they lastly could also be nearer to discovering out what occurred to Madeleine.  This previous June in Braunschweig Germany, prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters held a press convention and made a shocking announcement: that German police had a suspect: 43-year-old Christian Brueckner. He additionally had devastating information. He declared that Madeleine McCann was possible useless.Peter Van Sant: Mr. Wolters, it has been stated that German prosecutors are all the time very tight lipped … You should have some sturdy proof that allowed you to make that assertion to the general public.  Hans Christian Wolters: We have sturdy proof that Christian B. killed Maddie McCann.   Peter Van Sant: But you do not have a physique, right? There’s no physique? Hans Christian Wolters: No, we now have no forensic proof.   Peter Van Sant: Then how are you going to be so sure?  Hans Christian Wolters: We produce other proof.   Just as German legislation doesn’t permit Wolters to make use of Brueckner’s full identify, he additionally can not say what that proof is.   Jim Gamble: I heard the information that the Germans had a reputable suspect … and my very first thing was, right here we go once more.  Jim Gamble was head of the U.Ok.’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and concerned within the early investigation.  Jim Gamble: Madeleine’s case was complicated.  Over the years, he has seen numerous leads find yourself as useless ends. But this time, he believes the Germans could also be heading in the right direction.  Jim Gamble: Everyone, together with myself, who’s touched this case is extra hopeful with the German case than, than we have been in 13 years. Back in May of 2007, British medical doctors Gerry and Kate McCann have been on trip with their household in Praia da Luz, a resort city within the Algarve area of Portugal.   Jane Hill: The shoreline is gorgeous. The sunshine is gorgeous.Jane Hill is a BBC News anchor who lined Madeleine’s story.   Jane Hill: It was only a common, relaxed week within the solar.  

Gerry and Kate McCann with their youngsters. Madeleine is decrease proper.


The 5 members of the McCann household, together with Madeleine and her youthful twin brother and sister, stayed on the Ocean Club. They have been joined by a number of different households.   Jim Gamble: The Ocean Club Resort was seen as a spot … the place households went. They’d gone there for generations. It would appear to be household pleasant and protected.  KATE MCCANN [2007 BBC interview]: We have been having an excellent vacation. It was — we had numerous enjoyable. Especially enjoyable for Madeleine.  GERRY MCCANN [2007 BBC interview]: She may seem like Kate however by way of persona she’s rather more of a McCann. She’s very extroverted and vigorous.  KATE MCCANN [2007 BBC interview]: She may be very sociable.  But their idyllic vacation would quickly come to an finish. On May 3 at round 8:30 p.m., the McCanns left their sleeping youngsters alone of their unlocked house and went to fulfill associates on the resort’s tapas bar about 50 yards away.  Jim Gamble: That was their routine conduct. They had been doing all of it week.  Jane Hill: And the buddies would take turns. So, each quarter-hour or so one of many adults from the group would return … and simply test on their sleeping youngsters and test that all the things was OK.  At 10 p.m. when it was Kate’s flip, she discovered the twins sleeping. But Madeleine’s mattress was empty.  

The empty mattress that Kate McCann found when she went to test on Madeleine and her two youthful siblings at round 10 p.m. on May 3, 2007.

Jane Tanner: And Kate stated to me, “Jane, Madeleine’s gone. Madeleine’s gone.” Jane Tanner was one of many associates who was eating with the McCanns. Jane Tanner: It’s the least factor you’d ever suppose in 1,000,000 years that you understand a baby goes to be kidnapped in a protected household resort.  When Tanner heard that Madeleine had disappeared, she says she remembered that earlier within the night as she walked close to the Ocean Club, she handed a person who had caught her consideration.

A sketch of the person and baby household buddy Jane Tanner had reported seeing on the Ocean Club resort.

AP Images

Jane Tanner: As I used to be strolling up the highway this man was strolling throughout the highest of the highway, carrying a small baby, and the factor I seen essentially the most was he holding her and I may see the — her naked toes and the underside of the pajamas.  Tanner instructed the Portuguese police what she had witnessed that night time. But investigators did not seem to take rapid motion. Jane Hill: There was fairly a laissez-faire angle … she’s wandered off someplace. She’s in all probability bought misplaced. We’ll discover her. She’ll come again. … And that was one of many criticisms that the police exercise did not actually get going till the subsequent day.    By that point, Madeleine’s disappearance was making headlines the world over.   Jane Hill: My editor took me off the air the day after she disappeared and stated get on a aircraft to Portugal.  Hill was one of many first British journalists on the scene. Peter Van Sant: Why did this seize individuals’s consideration so? Jane Hill: It is each father or mother’s nightmare, is not it? In some methods, Madeleine was greater than a daughter to the McCanns. She was their miracle. Unable to conceive, the couple endured a sequence of grueling in vitro fertilization procedures till Kate lastly turned pregnant with Madeleine.  Peter Van Sant: What was it like for Gerry and Kate when Madeleine was born?  John Corner: Well, they have been strolling on air fairly frankly.  Family buddy Jon Corner spoke to “48 Hours” again in 2007.  Jon Corner: The bond between Kate and Madeleine was — is one thing that, wonderful, actually. GERRY MCCANN [to reporters in May 2007]: Please, if in case you have Madeleine, let her come residence to her mummy, daddy, brother, and sister.Within days, Madeleine’s face fueled one of many largest worldwide searches for a lacking baby in historical past.  Jane Hill: Madeleine’s face turned so acquainted. She turned ubiquitous. 

Missing posters on the windshield of a automotive parked outdoors the Luz Ocean Club, the holiday resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal the place 3-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared whereas on trip along with her household in 2007.


Jane Hill:  It was heartbreaking as a result of pictures have been launched that the household had taken on that vacation.  GERRY MCCANN [to reporters in May 2007]: It’s clearly extraordinarily tough …Jane Hill: Every day me and my workforce have been there, we simply watched the press pack develop and develop and develop.  As the cameras adopted the McCanns in every single place, it appeared Kate was by no means with out Madeleine’s pink stuffed animal.   KATE MCCANN [2007 BBC interview]: Well it was one thing that Madeleine has along with her each night time. And if she was upset or not properly, then she has cuddle cat. So, it supplied me with just a little little bit of consolation, one thing of Madeleine’s near me.   Days handed and the McCanns grew pissed off because the Portuguese police performed their investigation and shared little or no.  Jane Hill: Portuguese police are usually not allowed to disclose any particulars of an ongoing investigation, not simply to individuals like me, to the household concerned.  … And what occurs when you haven’t any data? You get rumor, gossip, and hypothesis … there was no proof of something, that is the difficulty …  ALL EYES ON THE MCCANNSJane Hill: There have been … rumors circulated, on a regular basis. I am unable to inform you what a rumor mill it was. … And you’d suppose … the place is that this coming from? Every week after Madeleine’s disappearance, suspicion fell on a person who lived simply down the road from the place Madeleine had vanished.  Peter Van Sant: Tell me, who’s Robert Murat? Jim Gamble: Robert Murat is a British expat who lives in Praia da Luz. … So, he had native information. And he spoke Portuguese, and … engaged with a lot of reporters and others in proximity to the investigation and provided himself as much as present assist by the use of translation or recommendation. Police rapidly named Murat a suspect. Witnesses say Murat confirmed up on the Ocean Club after Madeleine disappeared, and claimed he was performing suspiciously. Murat’s mom stated that wasn’t doable. JENNY MURAT [2007 interview]:  They could not have seen him. He was residence all night time. Then, the general public started to activate the McCanns for leaving their daughter alone.  Peter Van Sant: Did it go from, “We really feel so sorry for you” to “How may you could have carried out that?” Jane Hill: There have been … individuals saying that. … I recorded an interview with a person from the Algarve Tourist Board. … He stated, “I imply, you control your suitcase. Why would you not control your baby?” It’s a query Jane Hill needed to increase when she turned the primary reporter to interview Kate and Gerry McCann. JANE HILL [2007 BBC interview]: Lots of people, within the final three weeks, have … stated, ‘I am unable to think about doing such a factor. I would not be capable to go away three youngsters, in that state of affairs.” How do you take care of these types of feedback? GERRY McCANN [2007 BBC interview]: I feel, you understand … nobody will ever really feel extra responsible than us. … If you thought for a minute that somebody may abduct your baby, after all, you’d by no means have left them. Portuguese investigators additionally started eyeing the McCanns. Three months after Madeleine vanished, specifically skilled sniffer canine have been flown in to scour the household’s trip rental.   Traces of blood have been detected contained in the house and within the trunk of the McCann’s rental automotive.  Partial samples of the blood have been recovered and despatched to a British lab for DNA testing, however the outcomes indicated that the blood discovered within the house didn’t belong to Madeleine and the outcomes from the DNA within the rental automotive have been inconclusive.  Jim Gamble: Well I’ve seen the letter from the forensic science lab. … The forensic exams … did not say, this DNA is Madeleine McCann’s. … Because truly, the complete evaluation of that … says that up that as much as half the forensic scientists within the lab would have had related DNA traits. It was not a whole DNA pattern. What’s extra … Jim Gamble: The automotive wasn’t truly retained by the McCann’s till weeks after Madeleine had gone lacking. … And in case you are to imagine that Madeleine was within the boot of the automotive, they should have both killed her and/or hidden her someday earlier, recovered her physique while the media have been surveilling them, hidden it within the automotive … then moved it to a spot the place they may get rid of it, the place nobody may see that occur, after which convey the automotive again. It simply does not add up. The forensics do not add up. And but, 4 months after Madeleine vanished, Portuguese police declared the McCanns “arguidos”— suspects in their very own daughter’s disappearance.  Peter Van Sant: The huge media protection on this, do you imagine in some ways in which pressured Portuguese authorities to say, we now have our actual suspects? It is Kate and it’s Gerry. Jim Gamble: Well, I am unable to communicate to that. … You’d have to speak to the senior investigating officer from the Portuguese police. But in my view, do I feel that that kind of strain would focus the eye of a senior investigating officer? Of course. “48 Hours” reached out to the Portuguese police for remark, however they didn’t reply.  Jim Gamble: The McCanns ought to have been suspects day one, minute one, hour one. And I do not imagine for one second the McCanns dedicated this crime. But what I’m saying is … Your consideration must be, to start with, to take a look at the mother and father and really to rule them in or rule them out – to not wait till your months down the road the place you could have exhausted your entire different concepts, and to then say, “Well, truly, it should be the mother and father.” Because that is not truthful on anybody. Surprisingly, virtually instantly after being declared suspects, the McCanns have been allowed to fly to the U.Ok., returning residence for the primary time with out their daughter. GERRY MCCANN [statement at airport, 2007]: We have performed no half within the disappearance of our beautiful daughter, Madeleine.Kate McCann instructed her household that Portuguese investigators had pressured her to signal a confession, wherein she was to confess that Madeleine had died by chance, and that Madeleine’s disappearance had been staged. Kate refused. “48 Hours” spoke to Kate’s mom in 2007. SUSAN HEALEY [2007 interview]: Kate stated, “Why — why would I signal that confession?” you understand. … If an accident had occurred, Madeleine had fallen, Kate and Gerry would not have hidden that.  Peter Van Sant: When the McCanns have been named as suspects in Portugal, have been they seen as suspects within the U.Ok. as properly?  Jane Hill: I’m positive there have been individuals within the U.Ok. who did suppose that they’d some involvement. And that was mirrored notably within the British tabloid press. Some British newspapers started operating unsubstantiated, sensational storylines. Jim Gamble: And what occurred … is, the battle of the tabloids started to happen. The onslaught of untamed accusations continued for months, successfully portraying the McCanns as killers. Jim Gamble: And you then get the armchair detectives. … With social media you have bought the geeks, freaks and morons. … But while you’ve bought this world of bile being created on-line, then individuals frequently feed it.  It wasn’t till the next summer time, in July 2008, that Portuguese investigators cleared the McCanns. By then, Gerry and Kate had spent almost a 12 months below a cloud of suspicion. 

Gerry and Kate McCann communicate out in July 2008 after Portuguese investigators cleared the couple of their daughter’s disappearance.,

KATE MCCANN [2008 interview]: It’s onerous to explain how completely despairing it was to be named arguido and subsequently portrayed within the media as suspects in our personal daughter’s abduction. The police additionally cleared Robert Murat. But what had occurred to little Madeleine? The McCanns remained singularly centered on discovering out. KATE MCCANN | May 2011 BBC interview: I feel there is a actually good likelihood she’s nonetheless alive. … [takes a deep breath] I assume I really feel she’s on the market.  A NEW LOOK AT THE CASEMore than two years had handed since Madeleine McCann’s mysterious disappearance, and Portuguese investigators have been no nearer to understanding what occurred to her. As head of the U.Ok.’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, Jim Gamble knew he needed to take motion.  Jim Gamble: We produced a viral video referred to as “A Minute from Madeleine McCann” …”A MINUTE FROM MADELEINE MCCANN”: Madeleine disappeared on the third of May, 2007, whereas on vacation along with her household in Portugal. … If you understand who’s concerned, and also you’re holding this secret …Jim Gamble:  A video … that stated … “It’s by no means too late to do the suitable factor. … And if you understand one thing, go to your native police.” Peter Van Sant: I perceive that the video was in seven completely different languages, is that proper? Jim Gamble: Yes, it was …in Chinese, in Arabic, in Spanish …   It was downloaded in each a part of the world.  And because the views ticked up, so too did the variety of potential leads.  Peter Van Sant: Give me a way of the variety of sightings … that have been pouring in from everywhere in the world throughout these years. Jim Gamble: There’s been a lot of sightings of Madeleine McCann in … Australia, in elements of Africa, throughout Spain, Portugal and past.Jane Hill: All turned out to be nothing. The path went chilly.  But issues have been about to warmth up. In 2010, Gamble was requested by the British authorities to formally assessment the case.   Peter Van Sant: When Portuguese police started this investigation, you imagine they made some basic errors.Jim Gamble: I — I do suppose they … made some vital errors.  

A  poster of Madeleine McCann outdoors the Ocean Club in Portugal.

Gamble says Portuguese investigators didn’t take an in depth take a look at everybody staying close to the Ocean Club on the time. Jim Gamble: It was clear that the, you understand, searches … have been advert hoc. The reality is that all the particulars of all the individuals who’d stayed in that house block … or been in proximity on the time, hadn’t been captured.Gamble additionally discovered that cellphone information across the Ocean Club the day Madeleine went lacking hadn’t been correctly analyzed.   Jim Gamble: The phone firms captured all of that data in 2007. Yet … there was completely no proof that any of that cell website information had been … investigated. In June 2010, Gamble completed his case assessment and submitted suggestions to the British authorities.  But for nearly a 12 months nothing occurred. Until… Jim Gamble: Gerry McCann wrote an open letter on the entrance web page of a well-liked tabloid … to the prime minister. … And in a day, Operation Grange was commissioned. Operation Grange turned one of many largest and most costly investigations in British historical past. The full weight of Scotland Yard was now introduced in to help the Portuguese investigation.  Jane Hill: There was a way within the U.Ok. that this was virtually a recent begin. … Let’s regroup. … Let’s see what wasn’t checked out. Let’s undergo witness statements. Let’s see whether or not we are able to make recent appeals for data and actually revitalize this.That meant taking one other take a look at each doable situation of what might need occurred that night time.  Jim Gamble: Could this be that the kid merely walked away? … Could it’s an abduction? Could it’s a housebreaking that is gone improper?   Jim Gamble: Could somebody have damaged into the room and may they’ve been disturbed by Madeleine … and will they’ve responded, you understand, out of concern — out of anger and nervousness … and brought her away?  There was one darkish situation that weighed most closely; the chance that Madeleine had been kidnapped by a intercourse offender.  KATE MCCANN [2011 BBC Interview]: Obviously that was our greatest concern. …  But simply the considered somebody so beautiful and delightful, our baby, being subjected to one thing like that was, was sufficient to destroy us.Operation Grange solved one early thriller: the id of the person seen in a police sketch, whom that household buddy had reported seeing. Scotland Yard decided it was only a man on trip along with his baby.  

An age-progressed picture created by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children depicting what Madeleine could seem like at age 6.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Aged-progression know-how was additionally used on the time to additional the investigation. Jim Gamble: I’ve on many events checked out photographs of kids who’ve been discovered. And the likeness typically is exceptional. By 2016, the variety of alleged Madeleine sightings had grown to over 8,600, spanning greater than 100 nations. Scotland Yard investigated each credible lead, however none led anyplace. Jane Hill: How may it’s that years later, there was nonetheless no hint of this little woman. How was that doable? Nothing. Jim Gamble: What we’re ready for over these years as all these bits begin to fall into place – the cell website information, details about suspects, different intercourse offenders within the space. We’re ready for that final piece … to fall into place.   Then, in June 2020, from a small German metropolis, some startling information:CHARLIE D’AGATA [CBSN, June 4, 2020]: German police revealing {that a} convicted intercourse offender, presently serving a jail sentence, is now the prime suspect. After years of useless ends, lastly a promising suspect- a 43-year-old German man. A glance into his previous would reveal a monster.  WHO IS CHRISTIAN B.?In 2017, Gerry and Kate McCann marked a grim anniversary.  It had been 10 years since their daughter disappeared.  GERRY MCCANN [2017 interview]: On anniversaries and her birthday they’re by far the toughest days, by far.  KATE MCCANN [2017 interview]: Whatever it takes, for so long as it takes, there may be nonetheless hope we are able to discover Madeleine.GERRY MCCANN [2017 interview]: Certainly, from my perspective, any individual is aware of what occurred. Little did the McCanns know, greater than 500 miles away in Braunschweig, Germany, police had obtained a game-changing new tip. Hans Christian Wolters | German prosecutor: In 2017, an individual contacted the German police and gave us the identify of Christian B.

When German authorities regarded into Christian Brueckner,, they uncovered an extended and disturbing legal previous, together with convictions for housebreaking, drug trafficking, sexual assault and a historical past of concentrating on little women. 


According to information studies, Brueckner – who German authorities confer with as Christian B. — allegedly made a drunken confession to a buddy that he knew what had occurred to Madeleine. Germany’s highest police company performed an investigation. And what they uncovered was that Brueckner had an extended and disturbing background of crime spanning three many years.  Peter Van Sant: Who is Christian B.?  Mark Hofmann: Christian B. is a … legal who dedicated a variety of financially motivated crimes like housebreaking or drug trafficking.Mark Hofmann is a criminal offense and intelligence analyst primarily based in Germany who has studied Christian Brueckner.  Mark Hofmann: But he additionally has a darker facet. Authorities say he had a historical past of concentrating on little women.  Mark Hofmann: He may be very possible a psychopath with no empathy … and no deep emotions who’s concerned with feeling some sense of energy over defenseless victims, particularly younger youngsters. … So, he completely matches the profile of an individual who may probably abduct and or kill just a little woman like Madeleine McCann. Official paperwork obtained by “48 Hours” present that Brueckner’s lifetime of crime started when he was arrested for theft on the age of 15. Two years later, in 1994, he sexually abused a baby in Germany. Brueckner fled to Portugal to flee serving his sentence.  Mark Hofmann: He moved from job to job. He moved from crime to crime. Until 1999 when he was extradited to Germany to serve his sentence.  But he would quickly return to Portugal, the place Brueckner lived out of a VW camper van earlier than finally transferring to a home.

At the time of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, Christian Brueckner was residing  in Portugal  –  a couple of mile away from the resort the place the McCann’s have been staying.  

Google Earth/CBS News

Mark Hofmann: He lived in a home proper about one mile from the crime scene the place Madeleine was … kidnapped.  While residing in Praia da Luz, investigators say Brueckner had returned to a lifetime of crime, usually stealing from inns and vacation flats. Mark Hofmann: He was identified for housebreaking in lodge resorts and Maddie disappeared from round a lodge resort. So, it is doable … that this crime perhaps began as a lodge housebreaking and it ended because the potential kidnapping and/or killing of Maddie McCann. Jim Gamble says that principle is definitely doable.  Jim Gamble: The speculation that it was a burglar who responded in an opportunistic approach is one which I’ve all the time thought is credible.  In reality, only one 12 months earlier than Madeleine disappeared, Brueckner was arrested in Portugal for theft. But it’s unknown what the Portuguese police knew about his previous sexual offense in Germany. “48 Hours” reached out to them to search out out, however they didn’t reply. But it’s clear that Brueckner ought to have been checked out extra carefully by the Portuguese authorities from the start. German investigators now imagine they’ve found a key piece of proof. On May 3, 2007, a name was made to Brueckner’s cellphone roughly one hour earlier than Madeleine disappeared.  Peter Van Sant: The cellphone data that you simply obtained … do you imagine that positioned him across the resort space on the time that Maddie McCann disappeared?Hans Christian Wolters: The cellphone quantity positioned Christian to the Ocean Club, however we now have to search out out which individual makes use of this cellphone at the moment. Normally it was utilized by Christian B. But we do not know which individual used it on the third of May in 2007. Gamble says this lead may have been pursued on the time if Portuguese police had solely analyzed the cellphone information.Jim Gamble: I imagine the knowledge that now ties the current suspect’s cellphone to the world would have been out there at the moment if somebody had regarded for it.And German investigators additionally discovered that instantly after Madeleine went lacking, Brueckner did one thing suspicious: he put his automotive in another person’s identify.  Mark Hofmann: He deregistered his automotive at some point after the disappearance.  Shortly after that, he quietly slipped out of Portugal and returned to Germany as soon as once more. Brueckner finally settled in Braunschweig, and briefly ran a small common retailer by a faculty and stored a low profile.  Mark Hofmann: Pretty usually these baby molesters – that is like their soiled little secret. They do not speak about it to anybody … But they speak about their crimes and fantasies fairly brazenly to different baby molesters or different offenders.As it seems Wolters and his workforce discovered Brueckner was nonetheless working within the darkest shadows of society. In 2013 he posted in a pedophile chat room on Skype. Mark Hofmann: This was a Skype chat the place he brazenly mentioned his fantasies of torturing little youngsters  and utilizing them and raping them for a few days.  Although Brueckner’s posts made no point out of Madeleine McCann, the search of an deserted manufacturing unit as soon as owned by Brueckner would uncover images and movies that will increase extra questions.  THE MYSTERY CALLERAs Wolters and his workforce continued their investigation into Christian Brueckner’s previous they discovered that lengthy earlier than that alleged drunken confession in a bar, his identify had been linked to Madeleine McCann’s. In 2013, German police had obtained their first tip that Christian Brueckner might be concerned in her disappearance. Hans Christian Wolters: There was a primary trace to our suspect in 2013. But the police contacted Christian B. … and there was nothing discovered to analyze it any longer.While it did not pan out, only one 12 months later he was again on police radar. According to paperwork obtained by “48 Hours,” in 2014, 391 photograph information and 68 video information of kid pornography have been confiscated from Brueckner’s residence whereas he was residing in Braunschweig.  During this time, he was additionally charged with sexually abusing a 5-year-old. He was sentenced to fifteen months in jail for committing each offenses.   But earlier than serving his sentence, he fled as soon as once more to Portugal.  Mark Hofmann: If I take a look at his life and legal document, it appears just a little bit like he was all the time fleeing and making an attempt to flee legislation enforcement. So, each time he dedicated a criminal offense, each time he was investigated in reference to some crimes, he left the nation.  Brueckner would later be extradited to Germany as soon as once more to serve his sentence.And then, if there’s a home of horrors on this tragic thriller it might be a abandoned manufacturing unit deep within the woods of Saxony Anhalt, Germany, that Christian Brueckner as soon as owned.In 2016 investigators performed a number of searches of this property. “48 Hours” has discovered these searches have been a part of a broader investigation into baby pornography.  And what they discovered was troubling.  Mark Hofmann: Law enforcement confirmed that they discovered no less than three woman’s swimsuits in his camper van. So, after all, it is advisable ask the query, who do these swimsuits belong to?  Investigators haven’t revealed in the event that they know the reply.  But that is not all they discovered.

In 2016, investigators performed a number of searches of a abandoned manufacturing unit deep within the woods of Saxony Anhalt, Germany, that Christian Brueckner as soon as owned.  “48 Hours” has discovered these searches have been a part of a broader investigation into baby pornography.


Mark Hofmann: On this property they discovered … USB drives containing … footage and movies, together with movies and footage of kid abuse.  And additionally, movies which he produced himself.  … And these USB drives have been in a plastic bag buried below his useless canine within the floor.  It appears that Brueckner had an extended fascination with recording his crimes.  In 2018, a witness got here ahead saying they’d seen a videotape from 2005 of Brueckner raping a 72-year-old American lady at her residence in Portugal. Up till then, the attacker’s id had not been identified.  Mark Hofmann: This was not simply rape. This was essentially the most brutal type of rape I ever heard of.  That assault had taken place near the Ocean Club and a pair of years earlier than Madeleine McCann disappeared. Brueckner was charged and convicted for these crimes in 2019. His DNA matched DNA discovered on the scene.    Mark Hofmann: He is certainly a nasty man. He’s undoubtedly a psychopath. And he’s undoubtedly a full-time legal. … But the query is … is he actually responsible within the Maddie McCann case?  Wolters is not going to reveal particulars about his present investigation into Christian Brueckner, however he’s adamant about one factor.Hans Christian Wolters: We’re positive that Christian B. murdered Madeleine McCann due to the proof we now have.  Peter Van Sant: And could I speculate that that proof could embody pictures or video of Maddie McCann?  Hans Christian Wolters: You could speculate. But I’m not allowed to inform you in case you are proper or in case you are improper.    But regardless of the proof he says he has, Wolters admits he wants extra of it with a view to cost Brueckner.  Hans Christian Wolters: And in Germany, we … cost somebody provided that we’re positive that he will probably be sentenced by the court docket. If there are doubts … we do not cost him.  Wolters says one key piece of proof they want is to search out the one who made that decision to Brueckner’s cellphone roughly one hour earlier than Madeleine disappeared on May 3, 2007. Mark Hofmann: This could be the one one who may verify that certainly, Christian B. was holding his cellphone … in his hand that night time. … And this is able to be proof that not simply his cellphone was on the crime scene, however that he was on the crime scene.  Although investigators made an attraction to the general public, they’ve been unable to establish the thriller caller.  Hans Christian Wolters: The cellphone which was used for the decision to Christian B. was a pay as you go cellphone. … So, we aren’t capable of finding this individual in a simple approach. The McCanns haven’t commented on Christian Brueckner, however on  their web site they posted: “We won’t ever surrender hope of discovering Madeleine alive however regardless of the consequence could also be, we have to know as we have to discover peace.” Meanwhile, Brueckner has remained silent behind jail partitions the place he’s serving a 7-year sentence for raping that 72-year-old American lady. Brueckner’s lawyer spoke to 9 News Australia.FRIEDRICH FULSCHER: He is harmless till confirmed responsible.Wolters admits that with out a physique or forensic proof this case will probably be onerous to unravel, however he’s not backing down.Peter Van Sant: And do you imagine there are individuals on the market, whether or not it’s in Portugal or Germany, who’ve details about this case that’s essential?  Hans Christian Wolters: We suppose that there are individuals who can assist us and we hope that these individuals will contact us or the police.  Jane Hill: I’ve spent a few years hoping that there will probably be a decision.  

Madeleine McCann

Metropolitan Police

BBC News anchor Jane Hill, who lined Madeleine’s story from the beginning, hopes this new investigation will lastly present solutions—as painful as they might be—for the McCanns.  Jane Hill: I hope … that there might be closure not directly for a household that has spent 13-and-a-half years not understanding what occurred to their little woman, not understanding what they will say to her youthful brother and sister about the place she’s gone.  KATE MCCANN: Madeleine is an attractive, vivid, humorous and caring little woman. She is so particular. … We beg you to let Madeleine come residence …HAVE INFORMATION?If anybody has details about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, please go to  www.findmadeleine.comProduced by Chris Young Ritzen, Josh Gelman, and Anthony Venditti. Anna Noryskiewicz and Paolo Marenghi are the sector producers. Michael Loftus is the published affiliate. Michael Baluzy, Gary Winter and Greg Kaplan are the editors. Lourdes Aguiar is the senior producer. Nancy Kramer is the chief story editor. Judy Tygard is the chief producer.