Christian Brueckner, 43, is currently in jail in Germany for unrelated crimes and the authorities are searching for more evidence to keep him there.
For more than a decade, Madeleine McCann's parents have just waited to hear about their daughter. While they are still waiting for conclusive proof, they have heard from authorities in Germany that they have a suspect, Christian Brueckner, 43, who is a convicted sex offender. German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters also told Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, that their daughter was dead. What he didn't say was why he thinks so.
Hans also believes that the suspect Christian Brueckner "relatively quickly killed the girl, possibly abused her and then killed her," according to the Mirror UK. She was last seen at the holiday flat in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on the night of May 3, 2007, where her parents and their friends had been vacationing. German prosecutors say that they know how she was killed but her body, which is a piece of "crucial evidence," has not been found.
Now, it has been found that Brueckner may be connected to the disappearances of two more children, according to Metro UK. One of the children disappeared on May 2, 2015, from a forest in Germany’s Saxony-Anhalt region. Her name was Inga Gehricke and she was only five at the time. Brueckner used to live in a disused factory in the town of Neuwegersleben, around 60 miles south-west of Stendal, Saxony-Anhalt, when the 5-year-old vanished. The police reportedly searched for her in the factory in 2016 but couldn't find her.
The investigation was eventually dropped and the German national was prosecuted with another crime. Officers found child abuse images on a USB stick during their search of the factory. The prosecutors in Germany said that he is not a suspect in Inga’s disappearance but they have confirmed that there could be a possible connection between the cases of Madeleine and Inga.
Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) reportedly contacted the family of René Hasee, 6, who has been missing since 1996. They said that they are re-opening his case. The little boy from Elsdorf, Germany, was last seen running in front of his mother and step-father when they were vacationing in Aljezur, Portugal, on June 21, 1996. Eventually, they couldn't see him anymore and only found his clothes lying on the beach. They never saw him again.
"We believe our suspect committed further crimes, especially sexual crimes, in Portugal possibly but also elsewhere like Germany," said Hans about the suspect to The Times. Christian is serving time in a German jail at the moment. He is serving 21 months for drug trafficking and seven years for abusing a 72-year-old American woman in Praia da Luz in 2005, almost 18 months before Madeleine disappeared.
German authorities are worried that he would be released before they can gather enough evidence to charge him about the disappearances of the children. "The sooner we get evidence, the better for us to avoid the risk of him ever being released. If we find nothing new against him it could be that in seven years at the latest he may be released and leaves Germany for a country that doesn’t extradite," Hans added, as per Mirror UK.
Police reports have shown that he allegedly fantasized about kidnapping and abusing minors in a 2013 online chat, as per The Guardian. The 43-year-old told someone he was chatting with that he wanted to "catch something small and use it for days," according to a report by Der Spiegel via The Guardian.
At the moment, authorities in Germany have circumstantial evidence to believe that Christian was the one who kidnapped Madeleine, who was only 3 years old at the time, in 2007. Police in the UK, Germany, and Portugal have joined hands together to investigate the case and are appealing to the public to come forth if they know anything about it.