A startling revelation uncovered by a team of German investigative journalists has placed the prime suspect in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance at the very station from which she disappeared.
Convicted pedophile Christian Brueckner, who became the sole suspect in the 15-year-old cold case, worked as a handyman at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz in the spring of 2007, according to the German documentary. New tracks in Maddie Case which will be broadcast Monday evening in Europe.
A producer of the show confirmed to The Daily Beast that they had turned over tons of investigative documents to German and Portuguese investigators which show Brueckner “repeatedly carried out repair work” at the resort town of Algarve and was in town when the McCanns vacationed there. .
McCann disappeared from a bedroom in the vacation rental apartment where she slept with her twin siblings just before her 4th birthday while her parents dined at a nearby tapas bar with friends. The couples had taken turns checking on the children, and the time between checks in which McCann had disappeared was less than an hour, implying that whoever caught her knew the property well.
McCann’s parents were initially suspected by Portuguese authorities, which many believe led to the escape of the real perpetrator. They were eventually cleared in the case and successfully sued a police investigator who wrote a book claiming their involvement.
A spokesperson for the documentary said they did a re-enactment of the evening and Brueckner would have easily had time to snatch the child. The attorney general in Germany, where Brueckner is serving a prison sentence for raping a 72-year-old American woman at a seaside resort in Portugal, was also questioned. “We are grateful to the SAT.1 team for sharing some findings with the prosecution,” he says in the documentary, according to a clip. “There are witnesses who might prefer to talk to the media rather than us or the police. If it produces ideas, we will of course follow them.
Investigators have focused on Brueckner, 45, since evidence including a child’s toy bucket was found buried in his backyard in 2020. Police first identified him as a potential suspect in the case in 2017 when it emerged he was living in a motorhome when she disappeared and phone records link him to the Praia da Luz area the night she was abducted. He claims his innocence and continues to write to journalists – including German documentarians – who will share his letters on the program on Monday.
An excerpt from the program indicates that one of the letters contains a bizarre diatribe about his innocence. “Whenever possible, only drive during the day so that my ‘hippie bus’ does not attract attention, driving only on the roads I need and, above all, never provoking the police”, he wrote, according to the excerpt. “So that means not committing crimes, and certainly not abducting anyone. That said, it was just as absurd to me at the time as starting a nuclear war or slaughtering a chicken.
German and Portuguese police are continuing to investigate the case backed by the British government’s Operation Grange which has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds investigating the case, citing no “definitive evidence whether she is alive or dead”.