On May 3, 2007, Madeleine McCann was on holiday with her parents in Algarve, Portugal, when she vanished from the family’s vacation apartment in the Praia da Lux complex.
That evening, Kate and Gerry McCann had left the 3-year-old girl and her two siblings in the apartment unattended while they ate at a nearby restaurant.
Madeleine, who was days away from celebrating her fourth birthday, was dressed in pink and white Eeyore pajamas and was sleeping in a twin bed the last time her parents saw her.
According to reports, Kate McCann discovered the little girl was gone around 10 p.m. when she went to check on the children and found the bedroom door and window open.
Police investigating the scene took DNA samples from the apartment as well as the family’s car, but detectives had no solid leads in the case.
In October 2022, prosecutors in Germany announced they charged Christian Brückner, 45, in connection with sexual offenses he allegedly committed over a 17-year stretch in Portugal.
“The accused is the same person against whom charges were brought in connection with the disappearance of the then three-year-old British girl Madeleine Beth McCann,” said the prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig, Germany. “Specifically, the accused is charged with three offences of aggravated rape and two offences of sexual abuse of children.”
In 2020, Brückner, a convicted child abuse and drug trader, was named a suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance.
He has been serving time in Oldenburg prison in northern Germany since 2019 for the 2005 rape and robbery of an elderly American woman in the region of Portugal where Madeleine vanished.
Brückner has denied he had anything to do with Madeleine’s case.
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