There’s been a major development into the disappearance of missing child Madeleine McCann.
UK Police have today revealed a “significant” new line of enquiry, identifying a 43-year-old man, who is currently in prison in Germany, as a suspect in the little girl’s disappearance.
It comes 13 years after Madeleine vanished during a holiday with her parents Kate and Gerry McCann, and her twin siblings Sean and Amelie, in Portugal on May 3, 2007.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
Despite ongoing investigations, there has been no signs of the youngster and no one has ever been charged.
However, Detectives leading enquiries into the case say the suspect, who is currently behind bars in Germany for an unrelated matter, is known to have been around Praia da Luz on Portugal’s Algarve coast around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.
“The Operation Grange team is revealing details of two vehicles which the suspect is known to have had access to and used around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance,” Metropolitan Police said on Thursday.
“The first vehicle is a distinctive VW T3 Westfalia campervan. It is an early 1980s model, with two tone markings, a white upper body and a yellow skirting. It had a Portuguese registration plate.
“The suspect had access to this van from at least April 2007 until sometime after May 2007. It was used in and around the area of Praia da Luz.”
Police say the man is believed to have been living in the van for days, possibly weeks, and may have been using it on 3 May 2007.
“We are appealing for anyone who may have seen it in or around Praia da Luz on 3 May, the night Madeleine went missing, the days before, or weeks following the disappearance,” police have pleaded.
The second vehicle is a 1993 British Jaguar, model XJR 6, with a German number plate and registered in Germany.
This car is believed to have been in the Praia da Luz area in 2006 and 2007 and police say the car was originally registered in the suspect’s name, however on 4 May 2007, the day after Madeleine’s disappearance, the car was re-registered to someone else in Germany.
Both vehicles have since been seized by German police.
Detectives are also appealing for information about two mobile phone numbers, one of which is believed to have been used by the suspect on the day of Madeleine’s disappearance.
“The first number is +351 912 730 680. Extensive enquiries have led investigators to believe the suspect was using this number and received a call, starting at 7.32pm and finishing at 8.02pm on 3 May 2007. This call was received in the area of Praia da Luz,” Metropolitan Police said.
“The second mobile number is +351 916 510 683. This number is the phone number that made this call. We know the person was not in the area of Praia da Luz.”
Investigators believe the person who made the call is a “highly significant witness” and are appealing for them to get in touch.
“It’s more than 13 years since Madeleine went missing and none of us can imagine what it must be like for her family, not knowing what happened or where she is,” Detective Chief Inspector Mark Cranwell said.
“Following the ten- year anniversary, the Met received information about a German man who was known to have been in and around Praia da Luz. We have been working with colleagues in Germany and Portugal and this man is a suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance.
“While this male is a suspect we retain an open mind as to his involvement and this remains a missing person inquiry.”
The man has been described as being Caucasian and in 2007 is believed to have had short blonde hair, possibly fair.
He was about 6ft in height with a slim build. He is 43-years-old, but in 2007 may have looked between 25 to early 30s.
A £20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for the disappearance of Madeleine McCann remains.
She disappeared just before her fourth birthday and would have turned 17 last month.