Kate and Gary McCann’s daughter began international hunting when they were just three years old when they disappeared from their holiday apartment at the Priya da Luz resort in Portugal on May 3, 2008. He was never found and no one was charged for his disappearance.
On Wednesday, police in Britain and Germany identified a new suspect as a 43-year-old German man. UK authorities have described the development as a “significant new line”, and German authorities have revealed that the suspect had previously been convicted of sexual assault.
Family spokeswoman Clarence Mitchell said on Thursday that the British and German police appeal “for the first time in more than 13 years I can recall [police] Focus on one person “.
“Kate and Jerry probably think it’s very significant,” Mitchell told BBC Radio. “It’s another important chapter in their daughter’s search,” he added.
The German state prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, said in a statement Wednesday that the suspect is currently serving a “long” prison sentence in a related case. ” The office said McCann is now being investigated for “possible murder” in connection with the case.
On Thursday, Hans Christian Walters, a spokesman for the state prosecutor’s office, told CNN that McCain had died. Walters said they would not elaborate on what evidence they had to support it as it was an ongoing investigation.
Walters further explained that if the investigation leads to prosecution and prosecution, the suspect will be tried in Germany, because the German murder is a criminal offense, as was the case in Portugal, where the crime was committed.
On Wednesday night, on the German broadcaster ZDF’s German crime-solving program “Actenjechen XY Unsolved”, Christian Hippie of the German Federal Criminal Investigation Office said no bodies had been found, but that the “investigation was carried out by the Federal Criminal Investigation Office.” . “
In a statement sent to CNN on Wednesday, the parents of the missing girl thanked “the police force involved for their continued efforts in the search for Madeleine.”
“What we wanted before was to find her, to uncover the truth and to bring those responsible to justice. We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive, but whatever the outcome, we need to find peace.”
Mitchell mentioned in an interview with BBC Radio 4 that although German police were classifying it as an investigation into the murder, British police were treating it as a case of missing persons.
“A British national is still missing and British police are anxious to know if there is any evidence that he has been harmed, killed or actually alive. They are literally taking a public look at the matter,” he explained. .
According to the Brunswick prosecutor’s office, the suspect lived in the Algarve region of Portugal from 1995 to 2007 and also lived in a house in the resort town of Priya de Luz, where McCann went missing.
London’s Metropolitan Police also released details of two vehicles linked to the suspects at the time of the disappearance on Wednesday, urging the public to proceed with any information about them.
“The first vehicle was a separate VW T3 Westphalia Camparvan 1980. It was a model from the early 1980s, with two tone marks, a white upper body and a yellow skirt. It was a Portuguese registration plate,” the UK statement said.
“At least 200 of the suspects had access to the van from April to May 2007. It was used in and around Priya da Luz.”
The statement added, “The second vehicle is a 1993 British Jaguar, model XJR, with German number plates and registered in Germany,” the statement added. “The car is thought to have been in Priya da Luz and its environs between 2006 and 2002. The car was originally registered in the suspect’s name.
This could be another example of an offensive progression that comes up with nothing, Mitchell said in response to a question there was “a lot of quotes, tip offs, rumors, speculation” that “sadly it didn’t come at all”. “However, as I said, the police were not as specific about any person as they were in the application, remembering their involvement in the case.”
Mitchell added that Kate and Jerry McConnell are not interviewing because they want the police to look into requests for information about the phone numbers and vehicles used by these new suspects.
The Metropolitan Police began reviewing McCann’s disappearance in 2011, with at least 75 11 by June 2012. in a larger investigation known as Operation Grange, which spent ৫ 5 million ($ 14..7).
“Ten years after the anniversary, Met received information about a German man who was known to be in and around Priya da Luz. We are working with colleagues in Germany and Portugal, and this person is a suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance,” said Mark Cranwell, chief intelligence inspector. Reported.
UK authorities are offering a reward of up to 20,000 (about ,000 25,000) for information leading to the conviction of those responsible.
CNN’s Fred Plitzen in Berlin, Mia Alberti in Lisbon, Jamira Rahim, Max Ramsay, Milena Veselinovic and Isa Soares in London contributed to this report.