Videos and photos of the search for Madeleine McCann and footage of Christian Brueckner, the prime suspect in her case, show evidence he may have been involved in her abduction.
German police conducted a thorough search of property tied to Brueckner after he was named as a suspect in the 3-year-old girl’s disappearance and linked to other child abduction cases. While German investigators have said they have “concrete evidence” Brueckner killed Maddie, he has not been charged in the case. In the United Kingdom, the case remains a missing persons inquiry with investigators saying they do not have evidence indicating whether she is dead or alive.
48 Hours is examining the latest updates in the case and the suspect, who some investigators believe killed Madeleine. The episode, “The Puzzle: Solving the Madeleine McCann Case,” airs at 10 p.m. Eastern time Saturday, February 27, 2021.
Here are photos and videos of Brueckner and the search of his property:
Brueckner Was Named a Suspect in Madeleine McCann’s Disappearance in June 2020 & Investigators Found Thousands of Child Abuse Images Buried Under a Dead Dog
Brueckner was under investigation when German police found 8,000 images of child abuse on a USB drive buried in a plastic bag under his dead dog, Charlie, at a factory he renovated, officials said. Those images were considered evidence in a probe into multiple child abduction cases, including the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
However, Brueckner was cleared in the case of another child abduction in February 2021. Investigators named him as a prime suspect in the disappearance of Inga Gehricke, known as “the German Maddie.” She disappeared from a family picnic in 2015.
His attorney, Friedrich Fulscher, told The Sun on February 23, 2021: “The public prosecutor’s office has thoroughly examined connections to the Inga case and determined there isn’t even an initial suspicion against my client.”
Fulscher further told The Sun he believes his client will “never be charged” in Maddie’s disappearance.
“He is under investigation and under suspicion. I have to assume that they do not have any concrete evidence. I think that’s quite typical for us Germans,” he said. “We think we are something special, at least in Europe, and think we can do things better than other nations. We will see if that is the case but I don’t think so.”
But Jim Gamble, the former head of the United Kingdom’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, told 48 Hours he believes the pieces are coming together in the case.
“It’s when you put those things together that you get that clear focus where the jigsaw becomes much, much more complete,” he said. “For the first time in 13 years, I have to say … I actually feel here is a credible suspect.”
Brueckner Will Remain Incarcerated Until 2026 for a Rape Conviction, Committed at the Same Resort Where Madeleine Was Abducted
Brueckner is imprisoned in Germany after he was convicted of rape and sentenced to seven years behind bars. He lodged an unsuccessful bid to overturn his conviction, and he will remain incarcerated until 2026. His conviction was upheld in November 2020, the Daily Mail reported.
He is jailed for raping a 72-year-old American woman at the same resort where Madeleine McCann and her family were staying when she disappeared. He was living in the Algarve for most of the time from 1995 to 2007. The rape was committed in 2005, and Maddie disappeared in 2007.
Mark Hofmann, a crime and intelligence analyst based in Germany, said on 48 Hours that Brueckner fits the profile, and cellphone evidence showed him at or near the crime scene the night Madeleine disappeared. Brueckner lived about one mile from the resort.
“He absolutely matches the profile of a person who could potentially abduct and or kill a little girl like Madeleine McCann,” Hofmann said. “His cellphone was tracked at the crime scene or at least next to the crime scene the night Maddie disappeared.”
Cellphone records also placed Brueckner in the area of the crime scene at the time of her disappearance. Investigators said he received a phone call from a Portuguese number at the time. He worked odd jobs in the area, and he was also known to have committed burglaries at hotel rooms and other holiday stays in the area.