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)

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

Mirandy Tracy, left, and Tara Kurtz are two Langley mothers who are organizing a "sick out" for Tuesday, Dec. 1 to protest COVID conditions in schools. They're calling for masks and smaller class sizes, among other things. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Politician, labour leader throw support behind student Sick Out day

Langley parents started the movement to keep kids home on Dec. 1 as a protest

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Candidate in provincial election impresses Langley resident

A local resident wanted to send a shout-out for a candidate’s simple gesture

A small tree topped with a bow was standing out front of the vacant lot where the Alder Inn used to stand. It will be replaced with a much larger one, thanks to Langley Township councillors Bob Long and Petrina Arnason, who convinced a majority to approve a 27-foot tall tree at the Monday, Nov. 30, 2020 council meeting (Shirley Sawatsky/Aldergrove Star files)
27-foot-tall Christmas tree approved for former Alder Inn site

Township council funds 27-foot tree on lot where Aldergrove hotel once stood

Jackman Manor COVID-19 outbreak is over, the provincial health officer announced on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 (file)
Outbreak at Jackman manor in Langley declared over

More than 400 new cases reported in region

A family emerged with a purchase at the Tannenbaum Tree Farm at 5398 252 St in Aldergrove on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Christmas tree season is off to an early start, Aldergrove family farm reports

People are ‘bored’ with staying home due to COVID-19 and want to decorate early, farm owner believes

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

A heavy police presence was on scene on Dec. 28, 2017 following the shooting death on Bates Road in Abbotsford of Alexander Blanarou, 24, of Surrey. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Three men charged with Abbotsford shooting death of Surrey man

Alexander Blanarou, 24, was killed in a rural area on Dec. 28, 2017

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A convoy of seven pickup trucks, six of which were hauling boats, makes its way around the Chilliwack Law Courts on Dec. 1, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
First court date for Fraser River anglers ticketed during demonstration fishery

Convoy of trucks circled the courthouse in downtown Chilliwack Tuesday honking their support

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Most Read