Madeleine McCann, a 3-year-old girl, from Rothley, Leicestershire, went missing on May 3, 2007, on Portugal’s Algarve coast. Her photos were plastered across all lamp posts, airports, shopping centres and gyms in order to find her. What happened to Madeleine McCann? Where is she? Is she alive?
Timeline: The day the McCanns went missing
On May 3, 2007, the McCann family went on a holiday at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz in Portugal. Madeleine McCann’s parents went out for dinner with friends. Madeleine McCann and her younger twin siblings were put to bed to sleep in an apartment. However, when they came back, Madeleine McCann was not found there. Subsequently, they called the police to find the three-year-old.
Reportedly, on May 12, 2007, police said that they believed Maddie was abducted from the apartment. On 26 May 2007, the police officers issued a description of a suspicious man seen on the night of the girl’s disappearance. Hundred days later, police said that she might not be alive. Reportedly, police said that the couple had faked Maddie’s abduction and hidden her body after killing her. However, it was never proven.
In 2013, police reviewed the case and found 41 suspects. In 2014, a picture of a man carrying a blonde-haired child in Praia da Luz went viral on social media. In 2020, a 43-year-old German paedophile and rapist Christian Brueckner was suspected by the public prosecutor of Braunschweig. Brueckner said that he did nothing.
New Zealand’s link to the Madeleine McCann case
In 2010, a 2000-page dossier was published that said CCTV footage showed a man leading a young girl resembling Maddie into a supermarket in Dunedin, a City on the South Island, New Zealand. However, the police said that the girl was not Maddie.
The alleged theories of the case
German police said that they had evidence linking Brueckner to the Maddie case. Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters said that the investigators found fibres from Maddie’s pink pyjamas in Brueckner’s van.
Portuguese police named her parents, Kate and Gerry, as the prime suspects in the case. Portuguese investigators suspected Euclides Monteiro, who was previously employed at the resort, of kidnapping Maddie. They said that the man was involved in the sexual abuse of five girls at holiday homes between 2004 and 2006.
Recently, a Polish woman who identifies as Julie Wendell is claiming to be Madeleine McCann. She is to have her DNA compared with the missing child.