Police have revealed details of a new prime suspect in the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The name of the suspect, a German prisoner, was not changed. But information about him has been published – he is 43 years old, white with short blonde hair, probably about 6ft tall with a fair and slim build.
The German national was around Praia da Luz on the Algarve coast when Madeleine disappeared on May 3, 2007. He was on holiday with his parents Kate and Gerry McCann and twin brothers Sean and Amelie. Madeleine disappeared shortly before her fourth birthday. She was going to turn 17 last month.
About an hour before Madeleine was believed to be missing, a half-hour phone call was made to the suspect’s Portuguese mobile phone. The suspect, who is in prison in Germany for an unrelated matter, was attached to a VW T3 Westphalia caravan in the early 1980s – with a white upper body and yellow broom, registered in Portugal.
The vehicle is pictured in the Algarve in 2007. Scotland Yard said Madeleine had been driving her camping vehicle in the Praia da Luz area in the days before her disappearance. He is believed to have lived for days or weeks before and after May 3. He also connected with a 1993 Jaguar XJR6 with German license plates seen in and around Praia da Luz in 2006 and 2007. The day after Madeleine disappeared; the suspect re-registered the car under someone else’s name in Germany.
The car is believed to still be in Portugal. Both vehicles were impounded by German police. Scotland Yard is making a joint appeal with Germany’s Federal Criminal Police bureau (BKA) and Portugal’s Policia Judiciaria (PJ). It includes a £ 20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance. The Met’s investigation found more than 600 people were potentially significant and were informed of the German citizen known to detectives following the 2017 appeal, 10 years after he disappeared.
The Met’s Operation Grange, launched in 2013, has always considered the case a missing person’s inquiry. A statement from Madeleine’s parents, read by Detelin Inspector Mark Cranwell, said: “We welcome the appeal today regarding the disappearance of our daughter Madeleine. “All we want to do is find him, uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice. “We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive, but whatever the outcome, we need to know because we need to find peace. Mr. Cranwell told reporters on Wednesday that he had taken the “really unusual” step of releasing two mobile phone numbers as part of the appeal.
The first, (+351) 912 730 680, is believed to have received a call from another Portuguese mobile phone (+351) 916 510 683, in the Praia da Luz area.
The person, who is not thought to be in the Praia da Luz area, is not being treated as a suspect, but is said to be a “key witness” in the case. “Any information about these mobile phone numbers in the spring and summer of 2007 can be critical,” I’m addressing you directly. “You can know, you can be aware of some of the things he’s done. He may have trusted you with Madeleine’s disappearance. Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen the camper van inside or around Praia da Luz to come forward on the night, days or weeks after Madeleine disappeared.