McCann was three years old when he disappeared from a holiday home in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3, 2007, and burned an international hunt. He was never found and no one was charged for his disappearance.
On Thursday, a spokesperson for the Braunschweig State Prosecutor’s Office in Lower Saxony told CNN that his office assumed McCann was dead. Spokesperson Hans Christian Wolters said what evidence they could not elaborate to support this because it is an ongoing investigation.
The development came Wednesday after police in England and Germany identified a new suspect as a 43-year-old German man. While British officials called this development “an important new line of investigation,” German officials announced that the suspect was convicted for previously sexually abused children.
The Braunschweig Procuratorate said on Wednesday that the suspect is currently serving “long” prison terms “for an irrelevant matter. The office has now launched a” possible murder “investigation in connection with McCann.
Wolters told CNN that if the investigation led to accusations and trials, the suspect would be prosecuted in Germany for a crime in Germany, as in Portugal, regardless of where the crime was committed.
McCann’s family believes that the announcement of a new suspect is a potentially “crucial” development in the case. The spokesperson of the family, Clarence Mitchell, said on Thursday that the British and German police had appealed “I can remember more than 13 years ago”. [police] focus on one person “.
Speaking to the BBC radio, Mitchell thinks Kate and Gerry are potentially very important. “This is another important part of searching their daughters.”
“Aktenzeichen XY Not Solved” in Germany’s crime-solving show Wednesday night public broadcaster ZDF said that Christian Hoppe from the German Federal Criminal Investigation Agency had no organs but was “victim of the murder,” instead of the Federal Office of Criminal Investigations.
In a statement sent to CNN on Wednesday, the parents of the missing girl thanked “the police forces who continued their efforts to search for Madeleine”.
“All we want is to find it, uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice. We will never give up the hope of finding Madeleine alive, but we need to know that we have to find peace, regardless of the outcome.”
In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Mitchell underlined that the British police are still acting as missing persons, despite the classification of the German police as a murder investigation.
“An English citizen is still missing and the British police are suffering to say that there is no evidence that he was hurt, died or really alive, so they hold a completely clear idea.” .
According to the Braunschweig prosecutor’s office, the suspect lived in the Algarve region from Portugal from 1995 to 2007 and lived in a house in the holiday town of Praann de Luz, where McCann disappeared.
London Metropolitan Police also revealed the details of the two cars linked to the suspect at the time of disappearance and urged the public to move forward with any information about them.
“The first vehicle has a distinctive VW T3 Westfalia camp vehicle. In the early 1980s, there were two tone marks, a white upper body and a yellow skirting board,” said the UK.
“The suspect had access to this van at least from April 2007 to May 2007. It was used in and around the Praia da Luz area.”
“The second vehicle is the 1993 British Jaguar model XJR 6 with a German license plate and registered in Germany,” he added. “It is believed that this car was in Praia da Luz and its surrounding areas in 2006 and 2007. The car was originally registered in the name of the suspect. The car was re-registered to someone on May 4, 2007, the day after Madeleine disappeared. Another in Germany.”
When asked whether this is a visible breakthrough example that does not come to anything else, Mitchell admitted that it was “countless citizenship, tips, gossip, assumptions” and “all unfortunately did nothing.” “But as I said, in memory of the fact that I was involved in the case, the police have never been so obvious about an individual like this appeal.”
Kate and Gerry McCann don’t interview because they want the police to focus on the request for information about the phone numbers and cars used by this new suspect.
The Metropolitan Police began reviewing McCann’s disappearance in 2011 in a large-scale investigation known as Operation Grange, which cost at least £ 11.75 million ($ 14.7) as of June 2019.
“After his ten-year anniversary, Met received information about a German man known to be in and around Praia da Luz. We are working with our colleagues in Germany and Portugal, and he suspects Madeleine’s disappearance.” Detective Chief Inspector Mark Cranwell said on Wednesday.
British officials offer £ 20,000 (about $ 25,000) in rewards for information that led to the conviction of those responsible.
Fred Pleitgen in Berlin from CNN, Mia Alberti in Lisbon, Zamira Rahim, Max Ramsay, Isa Veselinovic and Isa Soares in London contributed to this report.
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