Madeleine McCann went missing on May 3, 2007, and has not been found since. The investigation into her whereabouts might finally be coming to a close soon.
The Madeleine McCann case has become an international investigation with the police departments of the UK, Germany, and Portugal being involved in it. The German police, who have access to the main suspect, have been saying that they have evidence to charge him. While there has been some criticism from other agencies over the German police's claims, they have still maintained that Christian Brueckner, 43, did kill Madeleine in 2007.
In a new interview, the chief prosecutor of the case, Hans Christian Wolters, told the BBC that his team does not have enough evidence to charge Christian, but he is "very confident" that they will be able to do it. Christian was had been identified as the chief suspect a few years back.
"If you knew the evidence we had you would come to the same conclusion as I do but I can't give you details because we don't want the accused to know what we have on him - these are tactical considerations," said Hans.
Hans has been consistently saying that the 43-year-old suspect, who is in prison in Germany for drug trafficking and rape, is the guy in Madeleine's case, too. The prosecutor has also insisted that it is no longer a missing person case; it is a murder investigation. Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate, may be losing hope because of the prosecutor's statements in public. However, they have not responded to it yet.
Meanwhile, the investigation against Christian has revealed his links to other alleged crimes. The suspect lived in Portugal on and off for many years and could have committed at least three other sex crimes, of which two are against children, said Hans. He is set to be charged early next year. The prosecutor also added why investigation in the case of Madeleine, who was 3 when she vanished, was slower. He said that there are logistical challenges as she vanished 13 years ago in a different country. However, his team is taking their time to build a watertight case against the suspect.
"I can't promise, I can't guarantee that we have enough to bring a charge but I'm very confident because what we have so far doesn't allow any other conclusion at all," he added.
Meanwhile, the British police still say that it's a missing person case as there is no "definitive evidence whether Madeleine is alive or dead". The contradictory statements from the different organizations have probably not helped the McCanns get an assurance.
Madeleine had disappeared on May 3, 2007, under mysterious circumstances, according to BBC. Her parents were eating dinner with their friends just a little away from the holiday apartment they were staying at. When Kate went to check up on her three sleeping children, she found that Madeleine was not there. Local police and volunteers began searching for the little girl but she was not found.
There were some false turns in the case with the Portuguese police naming a local British-Portuguese property consultant as a suspect. However, he had nothing to do with the case but was still hounded by the media. In the end, 11 British newspapers paid him £600,000 in libel damages for ruining his life. In September 2007, the investigation took another wrong turn. Kate and Gerry were named as suspects by the local police, but there was no evidence and that line of the query was abandoned.
Fourteen months after her disappearance, the investigation was shelved as unsolved, but her parents from Rothley, Leicestershire, were certain that their child was out there. In 2011, the parents were able to renew interest in the case and 41 potential suspects were eventually found from a list of 600. Two years later, a German program started appealing for information about two German-speaking men at Praia da Luz, which is where the McCanns were holidaying.
This helped German federal detectives receive a tip-off. In 2017, the German Federal Police attained further information on a man known as a sex offender and was in prison. He was close to where the McCanns were staying and had been on a half-hour call around the time she went missing. The German police are building a case against him currently.