Madeleine McCann’s parents today ‘welcomed’ news that German rapist Christian Brueckner has been made an ‘arguido’ – the Portuguese term for an official suspect, MailOnline can reveal.
Brueckner, 44, who has been linked to four other child murders across Europe since 1996, was sensationally named by German prosecutors as the man ‘responsible’ for Madeleine’s kidnap and murder in June 2020. Since then no charges have been brought.
But on the eve of the 15th anniversary of Maddie’s disappearance, the German rapist and child sex offender was handed a document in prison informing him he was being made an ‘arguido’ by Portuguese prosecutors, who could now summon him to the Algarve for questioning.
Kate and Gerry have said they are fully aware of the latest development in the case which emerged last night – and are understood to be encouraged by the news.
A source close to the couple told MailOnline: ’Anything that implies progress in the case is to be welcomed and that is the view of both Kate and Gerry.
‘They won’t be saying anything publicly just yet but that’s not to say they won’t in the next few days ahead of the anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance.
‘Kate and Gerry both still have hope they will get answers in due course to what happened to Madeleine and anything which goes towards that is welcomed.’
The couple later added in a statement: ‘We welcome the news that the Portuguese authorities have declared a German man an “arguido” in relation to the disappearance of our beloved daughter Madeleine.
‘This reflects progress in the investigation, being conducted by the Portuguese, German and British authorities. We are kept informed of developments by the Metropolitan police.
‘It is important to note the “arguido” has not yet been charged with any specific crime related to Madeleine’s disappearance.
‘Even though the possibility may be slim, we have not given up hope that Madeleine is still alive and we will be reunited with her.
Earlier this year it was reported that Home Office funding for Operation Grange – the Metropolitan Police investigation into their daughter’s disappearance – would be shelved in the autumn but their was no official response from Kate and Gerry.
The last public comment on Madeleine was on their official Find Madeleine website on Christmas Eve, where the McCanns thanked their supporters as they faced their ‘fifteenth Christmas without Madeleine’.
Christian Brueckner is also under investigation for two further rapes carried out in Portugal close to where she vanished.
Hans-Christian Wolters, from the Brunswick prosecutor’s office in Germany, revealed that Bruekner faces investigation over the cases.
Convicted rapist Brueckner, 44, was identified by German police in June 2020 with prosecutors saying they believed he had murdered Madeleine McCann. He has now been named an official suspect
Parents Kate and Gerry McCann will welcome the latest development in their daughter’s case, a source said
MailOnline can also reveal Christian Brueckner (pictured last year) is being probed over two other rapes
German law allows investigators to investigate alleged crimes committed in other countries.
What do we know about Maddie murder suspect Christian Brueckner and his criminal past?
1976: Christian Brueckner (pictured) is born in Würzburg under a different name, believed to be Fischer. He was adopted by the Brueckner family and took their surname.
1992: Christian Brueckner is arrested on suspicion of burglary in his hometown of Wurzburg, Bavaria.
1994: He is given a two-year youth jail sentence for ‘abusing a child’ and ‘performing sex acts in front of a child’.
1995: Brueckner arrives in Portugal as an 18-year-old backpacker and begins working in catering in the seaside resorts of Lagos and Praia da Luz.
But friends say he became involved with a criminal syndicate trafficking drugs into the Algarve.
September 2005: He dons a mask and breaks into an apartment where he rapes a 72-year-old American tourist.
The victim was bound, gagged, blindfolded and whipped with a metal cane before being raped for 15 minutes. She said afterwards that he had clearly enjoyed ‘torturing’ her before the rape.
April 2007: He moves out of a farmhouse and into a campervan now linked to the crime. The farmhouse is cleaned and a bag of wigs and ‘exotic clothes’ is found.
May 3, 2007: Madeleine McCann is snatched at around 10pm from her bed as her parents eat tapas with friends yards away.
Brueckner’s mobile phone places him in the area that night. He returns to his native Germany shortly after that.
October 2011: He is sentenced to 21 months for ‘dealing narcotics’ in Niebüll, in northern Germany.
In 2013 police released a photofit of a man seen lurking near the McCann apartment and Scotland Yard said that suspect last night had not yet been ruled out of the probe
2014: He moves to Braunschweig where he starts running a town-centre kiosk. He then goes back to Portugal with a girlfriend.
2016: He is back in Germany. He is given 15 months in prison for ‘sexual abuse of a child in the act of creating and possessing child pornographic material’.
May 3, 2017: Brueckner is said to be in a bar with a friend when a ten-year anniversary appeal following Madeleine’s disappearance is shown on German television.
He is said to have told him in a bar that he ‘knew all about’ what happened to her. He then showed his friend a video of him raping a woman.
MailOnline understands the friend went to police shortly afterwards.
June 2017: He heads back to Portugal and extradited again to Germany. The reason was a sentencing of the Braunschweig district court to 15 months’ imprisonment for the sexual abuse of a child.
August 2018: After his release from prison he lives on the streets. But he was jailed again for drug offences.
First Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters addresses the media during a press conference on the Madeleine McCann case at the public prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig
September 2018: Brueckner is arrested in Milan, Italy and extradited to Germany and put on trial for raping the American tourist in 2007 after a DNA match to hair found at the crime scene.
July 2019: He is jailed for 21 months for drug dealing in the northern German resort of Sylt.
August 2019: Brueckner is charged with the rape of the American tourist in Praia da Luz in 2005.
December 2019: He is convicted of rape of extortion of the tourist based on DNA evidence. He is given a seven year sentence, but this has not been imposed pending an appeal.
June 3, 2020: Scotland Yard and the German police reveal that that they have identified a suspect in the Maddie McCann case
June 4, 2020: Prosecutors in Braunschweig, where he lives, say they believe Madeleine McCann has been murdered, says spokesman Hans Christian Wolters. He is named in the German press as the prime suspect.
May 4, 2021: Kate and Gerry McCann post a statement on the Official Find Madeleine Campaign website saying they still cling to the hope of seeing their daughter again as they prepare to mark her 18th birthday on May 12.
April 21, 2022: Christian Brueckner, now 44, is made an ‘arguido’, a formal suspect, by Portuguese authorities. But he has not been charged.
Wolters, from the Brunswick prosecutor’s office in Germany, said: ’We haven’t spoken in depth about the other two cases, but I confirm we are looking into them.
‘These are two further rape cases and are in addition to the sexual assault on a little girl at the beach and the case of Hazel Behan.
‘These two rape cases are from evidence provided at Brueckner’s trial in 2019 from two witnesses who said they found footage on a video camera of him attacking these two women.
‘We have not been able to identify either of the victims.
‘We actually hope to have these cases all closed within the next few weeks and then it will be possible to consider charges for these but for the Madeleine McCann investigation we still need more time.’
The new allegations stem from a video camera found by two former friends of Brueckner but which has since disappeared.
Footage found on the camera allegedly shows an ‘older’ woman asking for ‘help’ in Italian as she is being whipped and raped by a masked man.
According to the men who have seen and described the footage, the attacker then takes off his mask and they say it is clearly Brueckner.
While another clip, according to the men, shows a younger woman, speaking German, tied to a wooden beam in his house, as she begs to be freed.
The men told police they also recognised the man in the second video as Brueckner and that it was filmed in his Portuguese home.
Their testimony was used to convict Brueckner of raping a 72-year-old American woman in Praia da Luz just two years before Madeleine was abducted.
The victims have never been identified but Mr Wolters said:’The additional rape cases are from the testimony of the witnesses at his trial who described what they had seen on a video they found at Mr Brueckner’s house.’
These two new alleged rapes are in addition to a sex assault on a ten-year-old girl and another rape, that of Irish tour guide Hazel Behan, who has waived her right to anonymity and both of which happened in the same area.
Brueckner is currently serving a seven-year jail term for the rape of the elderly American woman in her home at Praia da Luz in 2005 and was convicted in Germany in December 2019.
As part of that case witnesses described how they had found the graphic video in Brueckner’s home in Portugal which showed him raping two women.
The German rapist and paedophile was made an ‘official suspect’ in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann – on the eve of the 15th anniversary of her disappearance.
Last night respected German daily Bild claimed he has had been made an ‘arguido’ – an official suspect in the case by police in Portugal, which is usually the precursor to charges. It brings new hope that one of the world’s most harrowing unsolved crimes could still be closed.
Brueckner, a convicted paedophile, is currently languishing in a German prison for the rape of a 72-year-old American tourist in Portugal just 18 months before Madeleine was abducted. He was known to break into Algarve hotel rooms and apartments to supplement his income from drug dealing, and left the south of Portugal suddenly in 2007 – the year Maddie vanished – after more than a decade living there.
He is alleged to have admitted abducting Madeleine to a friend in a bar – and German investigators are said to firmly believe he killed the three-year-old – but do not have the evidence to charge him with Scotland Yard said to believe that officers in Europe may be relying on an unreliable witness.
Maddie’s parents Gerry and Kate are yet to comment on the decision to make Brueckner an ‘arguido’ – but they have never given up hope their daughter, who would now be 18, is still alive.
Last night there was confusion as news agency AFP reported that a person had been ‘charged’ by German authorities over the crime at the request of Portuguese police.
Brueckner’s lawyer Friedrich Fulscher denied to MailOnline he had been charged, and late on Thursday AFP corrected their story to say a person had been made a suspect in the case. But making Brueckner an arguido is still a significant development in the mystery that began with Maddie’s abduction on May 3, 2007, with senior officers who worked on the case predicting that a murder charge could follow.
Police in Portugal are thought to have acted in the last few days after it emerged that he could avoid charges due to Portugal’s statute of limitations which kicks in for serious crimes after 15 years.
The move by Portuguese authorities last night could now allow Brueckner to be transferred to the Algarve for formal questioning. But Bild reported that Brueckner’s lawyer, Friedrich Fuelscher, believes the Portuguese decision appeared to be a ‘procedural trick’.
One well-placed source said: ‘The legal grounds for making Brueckner an arguido include the fact that he allegedly confessed to a friend he had snatched Madeleine and mobile phone records placed him in Praia da Luz the night she vanished.
‘But it is obviously linked to the fact that the Portuguese authorities want to keep their options open with the 15-year deadline looming.’
Jim Gamble, the former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) who worked on the investigation into the child’s disappearance, told BBC Breakfast: ‘Well, this breakthrough could mean everything or it could mean nothing.
‘My own gut feeling on it – from the moment the Germans began to release information two years ago – was that this was the best fit.
‘You have proximity, you have opportunity, and you have a profile with regards to an offender that absolutely fits in a way that no others have.’
He added: ‘This is all positive. And from my own position, and I wouldn’t be surprised if charges did follow.’
Officers are hoping to nail Christian Brueckner (pictured left) A man matching his description was seen outside the McCann’s apartment in the four days before (efit right). A phone call also links him to the area
On Thursday evening Portuguese sources said Brueckner had been informed of his new ‘arguido’ status in Oldenburg Prison in northern Germany where he is serving seven years for raping an American pensioner in 2005 in Praia da Luz.
Christian Brueckner was flagged as a key Madeleine McCann kidnap and murder suspect YEARS ago
Christian Brueckner was flagged as a key Madeleine McCann kidnap and murder suspect years ago by police but the report was ignored by German authorities.
According to German magazine Spiegel, police in Braunschweig sent a report about him being a prime suspect to the Federal Criminal Office (BKA) in 2013, two years before Inga Gehricke, ‘Germany‘s Maddie McCann’, disappeared. It was ignored.
Braunschweig police were monitoring the 43-year-old around the clock at the time. The report was triggered after an appeal from British police on a German unsolved crime show, on which the news about Brueckner was also broadcast this week.
Spiegel went on: ‘One person did submit a tip about Brueckner but the resulting report from police in Braunschweig to the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation was apparently not acted upon, much to the consternation of the local investigators.’
Brueckner was born to a woman named Fischer but given over to youth authorities at an early age. Between 1992 – when he was 16 – and 1994 he lived in a facility for young people with learning difficulties.
A neighbour told German newspaper BILD: ‘There were only bad young people there.’
He was involved in crime across Europe after that.
It gives Portuguese authorities the ability to charge him further down the line by effectively ‘stopping the clock’ on the time limitation for bringing a prosecution if German prosecutors decide they haven’t got enough evidence to charge the paedophile they regard as their prime suspect.
A written statement issued by the Portimao section of the Faro Department of Criminal Investigation and Prosecution (DIAP) late last night, titled: ‘Maddie case. Constitution of an Arguido’, and said: ‘As part of the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007, a person was made an arguido on Wednesday.
‘The man was made an arguido by the German authorities in execution of a request for international judicial cooperation issued by the Public Ministry of Portugal.
‘The inquiry is led by the Portimao section of the DIAP in Faro with the assistance of the Policia Judiciaria police.
‘The investigation has been carried out with the cooperation of the English and German authorities.’
The country’s PJ police force has yet to officially comment.
Next month will be the 15th anniversary of then three-year-old Madeleine’s disappearance from the Portuguese Algarve resort of Praia da Luz where she was on holiday with parents Kate and Gerry on May 3, 2007.
Portuguese police would have had to charge him by the anniversary of her disappearance on May 3 in less than two weeks or face a seriously reduced risk of convicting him.
According to Portuguese law, crimes punishable by more than 10 years in jail, which covers kidnap and murder must be heard within 15 years.
Shortly after she disappeared Kate and Gerry, from Rothkey, Leicestershire, were also made arguidos in the case and questioned at length several times before they were cleared of any involvement.
Portuguese police chief Gonçalo Amaral who led the initial investigation and ordered the couple to be made official suspects was later taken off the case.
Bild quoted Brueckner’s lawyer Friedrich Fulscher saying: ‘The step taken by the Portuguese authorities should not be overrated.
‘Without knowing the Portuguese legal situation in detail, I assume that this measure is a procedural artifice to stop the statute of limitations threatening in a few days.’
Brueckner stayed silent after being informed he had been made an arguido and declined to be questioned as part of the Portuguese criminal procedure.
It is not yet clear who told him he was being given arguido status but it happened after a formal international letter of request issued by Portuguese authorities to their German counterparts.
The Portuguese move paves the way for him to be flown from Germany to the Algarve for formal questioning but there are not thought to be any immediate plans to try to quiz him in Portugal.
It is understood German investigators are currently focusing their efforts on forensic work on the VW camper van Brueckner used while he lived on the Algarve which featured in a police appeal about the convicted rapist’s vehicles.
Last week Brueckner wrote exclusively to MailOnline revealing he still had not been officially questioned by German investigators about Madeleine’s disappearance.
He is currently serving seven years in Oldenburg prison, northern Germany, after being convicted of raping a 72-year-old woman in 2005 in the Portuguese report of Praia da Luz, from where Madeline vanished two years later.
In his letter – the first to a British media organisation – he said:’ I haven’t been questioned on any allegations as required by German law, but it is obvious the German authorities and especially the Department of Justice, are providing the media with information about me that is likely to make me appear contemptible.
‘This also applies to the authorities at the correctional facility in which I am currently being held.’
Then taking a swipe at the investigators he said: ‘By now it should be most obvious to anyone with halfway reasonable thinking that the German authorities are trying by all means necessary to cover up the mistakes that have been made.
‘By ‘mistakes’ I mean blatant violations of German criminal law and international human rights. This statement on my part has so far only been laughed at as ‘wailing’ which gives me an approximate insight into the hopeless situation of the Jews, or in general, of the minorities in the Second World War.’
In his letter Brueckner makes no direct mention of Madeleine but highlights how he is constantly hearing he is being investigated for various sex crimes but that no one from the police has interviewed him about any of them.
Besides the McCann investigation, Brueckner is also being probed over the 2004 rape of Irish tour rep Hazel Behan, who has waived her anonymity, and a sex assault on a ten-year-old girl at Praia da Luz just a month before then three-year-old Madeleine vanished.
German authorities are adamant they have the right man, although Scotland Yard, who last month announced they were winding down their 11-year investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance codenamed Operation Grange.
Privately they are said to be dubious of any charges against Brueckner, as the only evidence against him appears to be circumstantial and from unreliable witnesses.
However German prosecutors have insisted they will continue their investigation even though they admit they have no idea if it will end with him being charged.
The last photograph taken of Madeleine shows her smiling next to her little sister Amelie and their father Gerry at 1.30pm on May 3, 2007 in Portugal, the day she went missing
Madeleine McCann would have turned 18 last year. In 2012, five years after her disappearance, her family issued an age progression efit photo to show what Madeleine may have looked like aged nine (right)
It is suspected that Brueckner received a telephone call shortly before three year old Maddie was abducted from her ground floor apartment. Pictured: The Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, where Madeleine disappeared during a family holiday in 2007
On May 3, 2007 Kate and Gerry McCann went to a small tapas bar metres away from their apartment to dine with friends. But when Kate returned to do a routine check on their children, she found that Madeleine had disappeared
Brueckner lived in the farmhouse above Praia da Luz (pictured) on the Algarve in Portugal and is said to have seldom mixed with his neighbours and allowed the property to fall into disrepair
The farmhouse where the prime suspect in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance lived was located just two miles from where she went missing from her family’s holiday apartment
The suspect, who is in prison in Germany for rape, has been linked to an early 1980s camper van – with a white upper body and yellow skirting, registered in Portugal – which is seen here on the Algarve in 2007. Police believe it may have been used in the crime but they have not found the DNA evidence needed to charge him
The German drifter, who spent several years living on the Algarve and completed a nine-month prison sentence on the Algarve for petrol theft five months before the British youngster disappeared, stayed silent after being informed he was now a formal suspect in Portugal.
Fears the opportunity to get justice for Maddie and her parents could be dealt a hammer blow in a fortnight’s time despite a continuing Portuguese probe into the unsolved crime had already been raised.
Madeleine McCann’s family’s lawyer Rogerio Alves warned in July 2020 Portugal’s 15-year limit on prosecutions meant there was less than two years left to take action against Brueckner, who German authorities were treating as their chief suspect.
And Portuguese legal experts admitted at the start of the month the chances of putting anyone behind bars over Madeleine’s disappearance would be ‘greatly reduced’ after the day Kate and Gerry McCann remember their eldest daughter exactly a decade and a half on from the holiday mystery.
Lawyer Spencer Dohner, of MDM Legal, said: ‘I think the likeliest scenario with the information we have right now is that it all falls after 15 years.
‘Portugal has a statute of limitations which means the authors of crimes punishable by a maximum prison sentence of more than 10 years cannot generally be prosecuted once 15 years has passed.
‘This of course means the ability to prosecute in Portugal in the Madeleine McCann case after May 3 this year could be terminated.
‘If she were found alive and had been the victim of sex crimes as a minor, legal proceedings could take place until she was 23.
‘But if Madeleine is dead as the German authorities believe and was murdered in Portugal around the time she vanished, the cut-off point for prosecution would be the 15th anniversary of her disappearance under normal circumstances barring any technical issues that could potentially pause the time limit like the Covid pandemic.
‘There are some arguments that could be debated but my perception and understanding of the law is that it’s 15 years and that’s it.
‘If we had a situation where a body was found and we had reasons to believe it was murder and the authorities here had a person to accuse, we would have a limitation of those 15 years.’
Another Lisbon-based lawyer, who asked not to be named, added: ‘Police and prosecutors in Portugal will be acutely aware of the time limits hanging over the Maddie case.
‘Our statute of limitations brings with it the probability that within a matter of weeks, the person responsible for her disappearance may never be brought to justice in the country where she vanished even with an arrest and confession.’
Earlier this year German police revisited every major witness in an attempt to ramp up their probe.
Hans Christian Wolters, a prosecutor in the German McCann investigation, insisted that Scotland Yard’s decision would have no bearing on their work.
He told MailOnline: ‘Our investigations are independent of the British ones.
‘We have no time limit. Therefore, we have the time to investigate as long as we have investigative approaches.
‘At this moment I cannot say when the investigations will be completed but we are confident they will, and he is still seen as a prime suspect in the case.’
Portugal’s Attorney General agreed to reopen the investigation into Madeleine McCann’s disappearance in October 2013, more than five years after it was archived, following a formal request from the Policia Judiciaria.
PJ chief Helena Monteiro is still heading an ongoing Portuguese police ‘cold case’ review from the northern city of Porto.
In October 2013 she quizzed the widow of a former worker at the tourist complex where Madeleine’s parents were staying when she vanished.
Serial thief Euclides Lopes Monteiro, who died in a tractor accident in August 2009, has never been publicly ruled out as a suspect despite calls from his family for police to confirm his innocence.
It emerged last June police homed in on Brueckner in the Madeleine McCann case after he told a friend in a pub: ‘I snatched her.’
He allegedly confessed to kidnapping the youngster while sitting in a German bar on the 10th anniversary of her abduction.
Reports at the time said he and a friend were watching a TV news report on the case in 2017 when he said he knew what had happened to her. He is also said to have boasted that he had ‘snatched her.’
How the disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann unfolded
May 3: Gerry and Kate McCann leave their three children, including Maddie, asleep in their hotel apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, as they eat with friends in a nearby restaurant. When they return, they find Maddie missing from her bed
May 4: A friend of the McCanns reports of seeing a man carrying a child away in the night. Meanwhile, airports and borders are put on high alert as search gets underway
May 14: Robert Mural, a property developer who lives a few yards from the hotel, is made a suspect by Portuguese police
May 30: The McCanns meet the Pope in Rome in a bid to bring worldwide attention to the search
August 11: Police in Portugal acknowledge for the first time in the investigation that Maddie might be dead.
September 7: Spanish police make the McCanns official suspects in the disappearance. Two days later the family flies back to England
July 21: Spanish police remove the McCanns and Mr Mural as official suspects as the case is shelved
May 1: A computer-generated image of what Maddie could look like two years after she disappeared is released by the McCanns
May 12: A review into the disappearance is launched by Scotland Yard, following a plea from then-Home Secretary Theresa May
April 25: After a year of reviewing the case, Scotland Yard announce they belief that Maddie could be alive and call on police in Portugal to reopen the case, but it falls on deaf ears amid ‘a lack of new evidence’
Kate and Gerry McCann mark the fourth anniversary of the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine with the publication of the book written by her mother in 2011
July 4: Scotland Yard opens new investigation and claim to have identified 38 ‘people of interest’
October 24: A review into the investigation is opened by Portuguese police and new lines of inquiry are discovered, forcing them to reopen the case
January 29: British officers arrive in Portugal as a detailed investigation takes place. During the year, several locations are searched, including an area of scrubland near the resort
October 28: British police announce that team investigating Maddie’s disappearance is reduced from 29 officers to just four, as it is also revealed that the investigation has cost £10million
April 3: Operation Grange is handed an additional £95,000 by Theresa May to keep the investigation alive for another six months
March 11: Cash is once again pumped into keeping the investigation alive, with £85,000 granted to keep it running until September, when it is extended once again until April next year
March 27: The Home Office reveals it has allocated further funds to Operation Grange. The new fund is believed to be as large as £150,000
September 11: Parents fear as police hunt into daughter’s disappearance could be shelved within three weeks by the new Home Secretary amid funding cuts
September 26: Fresh hope in the search for Madeleine McCann as it emerges the Home Office is considering allocating more cash for the police to find her
April: Controversial new Netflix documentary re-examining Maddie’s kidnap is released, triggering a barrage of online abuse against Kate and Gerry by heartless trolls. They pair, who refused to take part in the eight hour programme series, slammed it for ‘potentially hindering’ the search for their daughter while an active police hunt is ongoing
June 5: The Home Office gives the Metropolitan Police enough funding to investigate for another year
June 22: Detectives say they are ‘closer than ever’ to solving the disappearance as they look into a new suspect. A joint effort by British and Portuguese police narrowed in on a ‘foreign’ man who was in the Algarve when she went missing in 2007
December 7: Paulo Pereira Cristovao, a long-time critic of Maddie’s parents who angered them with a controversial book about the mystery disappearance, was convicted of participating in the planning of two violent break-ins at properties in Lisbon and the nearby resort of Cascais. He is jailed for seven and a half years
December 11: Maddie’s revealed a touching list of what they miss most about their daughter as they spent their 13th Christmas without her
February 22: Scotland Yard detectives questioned a British expat about her German ex-boyfriend. Carol Hickman, 59, claims police entered her bar in Praia da Luz, Portugal to ask questions about her former partner
March 27: Detectives requested extra money to continue their investigation into the disappearance of the toddler in Portugal back in 2007, with funds for the operation set to run out at the end of the month
June 3: Police reveal that a 43-year-old German prisoner has been identified as a suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance.
– May 4: Kate and Gerry McCann post a statement on the Official Find Madeleine Campaign website saying they still cling to the hope of seeing their daughter again as they prepare to mark her 18th birthday on May 12.
– April 21: Christian Brueckner, now 44, is made an ‘arguido’, a formal suspect, by Portuguese authorities.