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Prosecutor Says He Has 'Some Evidence' That Madeleine McCann Is Dead, But Needs More To Find Body And Pursue Trial
A suspect identified by German authorities as 43-year-old Christian B. has been linked to other sex crimes, but a prosecutor says there's not yet enough evidence to charge him with the British toddler's murder.
A German prosecutor who pinpointed a suspect in the infamous 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann last week said he has some evidence that the British toddler is dead but needs more information before he can locate her body.
German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters told British outlet Sky News that while information about the new suspect — identified in German media simply as 43-year-old Christian B. because of privacy laws — has led officials to believe that Madeleine is dead, they need more information to find her body. Madeleine vanished on May 3, 2007 while on vacation with her family in Portugal’s Praia da Luz, just short of her fourth birthday.
“After all the information we got, the girl is dead. We have no information that she is alive,” Wolters told Sky News. "All indications we have got that I can't tell you point in the direction that Madeleine is dead.”
He said he needs more information from people who knew of Christian B. — who has been described as a transient — when he lived in Portugal, so the body can be found and the suspect can be brought to trial.
"We expect that she is dead, but we don't have enough evidence that we can get a warrant for our suspect in Germany for the murder of Madeleine McCann,” he said. "At the moment we also don't have enough proof for a trial at court, but we have some evidence that the suspect has done the deed.”
Wolters urged any British tourists who may have been in Praia da Luz between 1995 and 2007 to contact authorities.
“Only with these calls we can solve the case of Madeleine McCann,” he said.
The prosecutor also thinks that Christian B. could be responsible for other crimes.
"We think our suspect has done more crimes possibly against British, Irish or American people,” Wolters told Sky News. “All these people are asked to call us so we can solve these cases."
Last week, German prosecutors announced that they were looking into whether the suspect had any involvement in an unsolved disappearance of a young German girl. He is currently incarcerated, having been convicted of sex crimes against other young girls.
Christian B. allegedly committed burglaries in hotels and dealt drugs when he lived in and around the Praia da Luz resort area from 1995 to 2007. He reportedly drove both a camper van and a Jaguar at the time, which he transferred into someone else's name the day after Madeleine vanished, the BBC reported last week. The UK's Metropolitan Police are asking the public for more information about both vehicles as well as the suspect himself. They are working with German and Portuguese police on the case, known as Operation Grange.
"Someone out there knows a lot more than they're letting on," Detective Chief Inspector Mark Cranwell of the Metropolitan Police said following the identification of the new suspect, according to the BBC.
Madeleine’s parents were initially identified as suspects in their daughter's disappearance by Portuguese police — making both them and the case tabloid fodder. The McCanns were cleared of suspicion in 2008 and never gave up looking for their daughter.
Madeleine McCann's disappearance was called "the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history” by The Telegraph in 2008.