The Brunswick prosecutor's office in Germany announced Thursday (June 4th) that the investigation into the new suspect in the 2007 case of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Portugal, nicknamed Maddie, a three-year-old child, had been opened for murder. 

"The Brunswick prosecution is investigating a 43-year-old German suspected of murder. You can infer that we think the little girl is dead," said Hans Christian Wolters, attorney for Brunswick, at a press conference. Maddie McCann, a British national, disappeared from her hotel room on May 3 during a family vacation in the Algarve, Portugal, while her parents were dining with friends nearby. 

A multi-repeat pedophile

The suspect, a 43-year-old German, previously convicted of pedophilia, and currently imprisoned in Germany. Marking a new development in this news which kept the planet in suspense, the German police announced Wednesday to investigate this new suspect and launched a call for witnesses. 

The girl's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, "are grateful and welcome this call for witnesses. They just want to know what happened to their daughter, find out the truth and bring the perpetrators to justice," said their door -wire, Clarence Mitchell, on the BBC. 

"They have not lost hope of finding her alive, despite the time that has passed. (...) But they are realistic and say that whatever the outcome of this call for witnesses (...), they need to know to find peace, "he added. 

Like the British police, the family spokesman called the identification of the suspect "important" in the case, which hit the headlines of most British newspapers on Thursday. 

"Thousands of leads and potential suspects mentioned in the past or discussed in the media, there has never been anything so clear, not from one police force, but from three police forces," he said. -he says.

The new suspect is said to have lived for several years in a house near Praia da Luz and to have worked in the region, in particular in catering. He was identified thanks to "close collaboration" between the German, British and Portuguese police, following information received by the British after an appeal launched on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the disappearance.  

Two phones and two vehicles

After 14 months of controversial investigations, marked in particular by the indictment of the girl's parents before they were whitewashed, then the dismissal of the inspector in charge of the investigation, the Portuguese police had closed the case in 2008 before reopening the file five years later. 

British police had opened their own investigation in July 2013. For its part, the Portuguese justice system indicated that it was continuing the investigation and that it was interviewing witnesses as part of the investigation. 

According to German police, there are indications that the suspect also made a living by "committing crimes, including burglaries in hotel complexes and holiday apartments", as well as drug trafficking. 

The call for information relates in particular to two telephone numbers as well as two vehicles which it would have used: a Jaguar XJR 6 of dark color registered in Augsburg, in Bavaria, and a van Volkswagen T3 Westfalia white and yellow with a Portuguese plate. 

British police, who described the suspect as a slim, short-haired white man about 1.80 meters in 2007, said he would have lived in the van "for days, if not weeks" and that he may have used it on May 3, 2007, the day of Madeleine McCann's disappearance. 

Several British newspapers cite comments made last year by ex-investigating police officer Goncalo Amaral. He then said that the investigators were again focusing on a German pedophile, who had been removed from the list of suspects in 2008 and who had brought up Madeleine in online discussions.  

With AFP and Reuters 

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