Madeleine McCann case: Police identify German prisoner as suspect

British and German police issue appeal amid ‘significant development’

An undated handout photograph released by the Metropolitan Police in London shows a VW T3 Westfalia camperv an used  by a new suspect in the case of missing British girl Madeleine McCann. Photograph: Handout/AFP via Getty Images

An undated handout photograph released by the Metropolitan Police in London shows a VW T3 Westfalia camperv an used by a new suspect in the case of missing British girl Madeleine McCann. Photograph: Handout/AFP via Getty Images

 

British and German police said on Wednesday they had a new suspect in the 2007 disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann – appealing for information on a German man who is currently imprisoned in Germany on an unrelated matter.

McCann, who is British, disappeared from her bedroom on May 3rd during a family holiday in Portugal while her parents were dining with friends nearby in the resort of Praia da Luz.

A poster of three-year-old Madeleine McCann, a British girl who went missing in 2007 while on holiday with her parents in Praia da Luz, in Lagos, Portugal. Photograph: Luis Forra/EPA
A poster of three-year-old Madeleine McCann, a British girl who went missing in 2007 while on holiday with her parents in Praia da Luz, in Lagos, Portugal. Photograph: Luis Forra/EPA
A 2012 photograph shows Kate and Gerry McCann holding an age-progressed police image of their daughter Madeleine during a news conference to mark the 5th anniversary of their daughter Madeleine’s disappearance, in London. File photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA
A 2012 photograph shows Kate and Gerry McCann holding an age-progressed police image of their daughter Madeleine during a news conference to mark the 5th anniversary of their daughter Madeleine’s disappearance, in London. File photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Her fate remains a mystery despite a massive international search and media coverage which prompted reported sightings from across the globe.

British police described Wednesday’s appeal – the latest of several issued since her disappearance – as a “significant development”.

They want to speak to anyone who has relevant information on the man, whom they did not name, or the movements of two vehicles linked to him during the period surrounding the disappearance. Both vehicles, a Volkswagen camper van and a Jaguar, are now in the possession of German police.

An undated handout photograph released by the Metropolitan Police in London showing a 1993 British Jaguar, model XJR 6, believed to have been used in and around Praia da Luz, Portugal, by a new suspect in the case of missing British girl Madeleine McCann. Photograph: Handout/AFP via Getty Images
An undated handout photograph released by the Metropolitan Police in London showing a 1993 British Jaguar, model XJR 6, believed to have been used in and around Praia da Luz, Portugal, by a new suspect in the case of missing British girl Madeleine McCann. Photograph: Handout/AFP via Getty Images

They also asked for anyone who was familiar with two Portuguese phone numbers to come forward. One of the phone numbers was known to be used by the suspect, and received a 30-minute phone call from the second number whilst in the Praia da Luz area on the night of the disappearance, shortly before McCann was last seen.

“You may know, you may be aware of some of the things he has done, he may have confided in you about the disappearance of Madeleine,” said senior investigating officer Mark Cranwell.

“More than 13 years have passed, and your loyalties may have changed. This individual is in prison ... now is the time to come forward.”

British police said they retained an open mind about the man’s involvement and did not have any definitive evidence whether McCann was alive or not. – Reuters