What happened in the night of May 3, 2007 it is still a mystery. Kate and Gerry McCann were on vacation in Algarve, Portugal. They were staying at the resort Praia da Luz Ocean Club when they decided to go out to eat with some friends at a tapas bar that was located just 100 meters from the accommodation. His three-year-old daughter and 18-month-old twin brothers were left in the room.
The adults had taken turns going to the room to check every so often that the boys were okay. On one of those visits, the mother of the family opened the door and saw that the little girl was missing. The window in the room facing the street? Open.
Out of the anguish and despair these parents felt came a 14-year investigation that still has no clear answers and why the world still wonders: What happened to Madeleine McCann?
The search promoted by the British couple went through different stages in which even they themselves came to be targeted as suspects, with the police of Portugal, England and Germany posing their hypotheses and dedicating an infinity of resources to find the little girl who was about to turn four years old and, As of today, I would be 17.
In May 2007 the world was moved by the image of Madeleine missing, with that innocent look exacerbated by her blond hair and green eyes. Her parents could only speak of “anguish and despair” while the Portuguese police raised the hypothesis of a kidnapping, although they kept hoping to find the little girl alive.
The Portuguese officers were joined by those from London, who still keep the search active as a child, a operation that cost from 2011 to now 12.5 million pounds.
However, McCann they know that the investigation cannot last forever, according to a friend of hers told the newspaper The Sun. Along these lines, Maddie’s parents managed to collect 750 thousand pounds in case the metropolitan police closes the case and they are forced to continue with the search on their part.
The German police appear to be holding the strongest conjecture. Is that, in June 2020, the prosecutor of Braunschweig -city located in the center of the country- Hans Christian Wolters, he told the newspaper The Mirror: “We have concrete evidence, but I can’t say why she is dead. It is no longer a disappearance, but a murder”.
The culprit, according to the German investigation, is Christian Brueckner, a 44-year-old man born in Germany, currently is in prison for raping a 72-year-old American woman two years before Madeleine’s disappearance in the same place where the girl was vacationing with her family, Praia da Luz.
Brueckner He was only taken to prison in December 2019, after DNA tests were carried out on a hair found at the scene. The details of what he did to the woman are really lurid. He gagged her, sexually assaulted her, and stole her.
The german criminal He lived between 1995 and 2007 in the south of Portugal, in the Algarve area, where he worked and also committed a series of crimes. He accidentally left Portuguese lands the same year he disappeared Madeleine and he moved to his native country, where he continued committing crimes related to drug trafficking.
While living in the Algarve region, Brueckner He drove in two different cars, a dark Jaguar XJE 6 with a German patent, and a white and yellow Volkswagen pickup with a Portuguese license plate.
That May 3, 2007, this last truck -of the typical ones used to go camping-, was seen in the vicinity of Praia da Luz, which compromises the suspect. In addition, the German criminal transferred his Jaguar to someone else’s name the day after the disappearance of Maddie.
The leads involving the suspect grew over time. It is that the officers registered a 30-minute call from his number to another with the same characteristic, that of Portugal. The police tried to find the interlocutor of Brueckner because he considered him a “very important witness” but so far he has not succeeded.
In mid-2020, Hazel Behan, a woman who was gagged and raped in 2004 in an apartment in Praia da Rocha, Portugal, said the German man could have been her attacker. At the time, she was 20 years old and the case had been closed until the image of the rapist was made public due to his alleged relationship with the disappearance of Madeleine.
The suspect also has a pedophile record that further compromises. For example, in 1994, when he was just 17 years old, he was convicted of abusing a child in Bavaria. But more recently, in 2015, When a five-year-old girl, nicknamed the “German Madeleine McCann”, Inga Gehricke, disappeared while on a picnic with her family, the man was near the area, in an abandoned factory in Braunschweig, in northern Germany, where it is presumed that he lived for some time.
No He never appeared but the police did not find enough evidence to charge his alleged kidnapper. However, in his search, when searching the factory, he found 8000 photos about child pornography and that the pedophile had buried under Charlie, his deceased dog.
A series of memoirs were also found and pendrives that had more images inside them, in which it was discovered that the rapist had abused his ex-girlfriend’s five-year-old daughter in a park.
To these last chilling details are added others such as that, near the abandoned shed, his motorhome, which could be the Volkswagen that Brueckner used to transfer to Madeleine in Algarve. There the German police found girls swimming suits and children’s clothing. That vehicle, he told his friends, was ideal “for hiding drugs and children.”
“We still assume that the defendant, Christian B., killed Madeleine. Although it is very difficult after all this time to carry out the investigation of the case that will turn 14 years old, we remain optimistic and hopeful that we will be able to solve this crime ”, the prosecutor recently concluded Wolters.
However, there is still insufficient evidence to impose charges on Brueckner in relation to the disappearance of the British girl. “I must assume that they do not have concrete evidence,” said his lawyer in February, Friedrich Fulscher.
In case of Madeleine McCann It has the world in suspense for 14 years and it is one of those events whose network may never be resolved. In the middle, there are two destroyed parents whose lives were frozen on that night of May 3, 2007, when they last saw their beloved daughter.