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

Penticton photographer publishes book showcasing resilience of Okanagan people

Okanagan Strong showcases the bravery of many during crisis; from COVID-19, to floods, and fires

Summerland steam train to begin operations

Reduced schedule, physical distancing planned for Kettle Valley Steam Railway beginning July 18

Morning Start: Naps could save your life

Your morning start for Wednesday, July 9, 2020

After slow start, Summerland sees more tourism activity

Majority of visitors come from within British Columbia

EDITORIAL: Accommodating Okanagan fruit pickers

Campsite for agricultural workers to open in Summerland

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Kelowna taxpayers could pay $90K for losses caused by cancelled Memorial Cup

$135,000 would be put aside for a potential bid for a future opportunity to host the tournament

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Motorcycle rider seriously injured in collision with vehicle on Highway 97 west of Pritchard

Chase RCMP report that motorcycle was attempting to pass when crash occurred

Predator mutilated cats in Kelowna: BC SPCA

The BC SPCA confirmed a mutilated cat was killed by a predator

LETTER: Former Summerland mayors speak out on solar project

Five former Summerland mayors sign name to short letter

Emergency crews conduct CPR on unresponsive person in Okanagan Lake

West Kelowna emergency crews are on scene at the shores of Jubilee Mobile Home Park

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Most Read