Madeleine McCann disappearance: All of the case’s strangest details
In the late 2000s, a picture of a three-year-old Madeleine McCann circulated the U.K. The image of a bright-eyed and light-haired toddler who went missing on holiday made headline news throughout various countries. Soon after the disappearance, countless people were on the search to find this innocent and sweet-faced child alive & safe.
For over a decade, the investigation to find Madeleine led to dead ends & baseless leads. However, the Madeleine McCann disappearance case has recently resurfaced with new information. A new suspect has come out of the shadows that could possibly bring justice & closure to the McCann family.
Here is what we know
On May 3rd, 2007, three-year-old Madeleine McCann was on vacation with her parents at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Kate & Gerry McCann left Madeleine with her two younger siblings in a Portuguese apartment while they decided to go have dinner at a tapas restaurant with a group of friends located within the same complex.
The group of friends devised a system where they took turns checking on the children who remained in the apartment. When it was Kate McCann’s turn, she found only her twins in the room, and to her horror, Madeleine was gone.
In the next few days, authorities and hundreds of volunteers conducted a wide search for Madeleine. Yet, very little information of the whereabouts of the child came to the surface and the McCann family was left with little hope in finding their daughter.
A manhunt leading to nowhere
Over the years, there has been speculation that the investigation of Madeleine McCann was not properly conducted by Portuguese authorities. Many of the leads & suspects lacked viable evidence and led nowhere, causing public criticism. So much so that it was revealed that the Portuguese police chief resigned in 2008 due to the widespread criticism of his investigation.
Kate McCann was interviewed by the Portuguese police in September of 2007 which led to both her and her husband being labeled as suspects. Gerry McCann then released a statement and sketches of a man believed to be following his family before his daughter’s disappearance.
The police interviewed friends of the McCanns who were there the night of the disappearance. The investigation eventually had the suspect status of both Kate & Gerry to be lifted.
According to the BBC, “Portuguese police say they believe Madeleine was abducted but is still alive and in Portugal. On 26 May 2007, police issued a description of a man seen on the night of Madeleine’s disappearance, possibly carrying a child.”
By August of 2007, the police insinuated that there was a high probability that Madeleine McCann will not be found alive. “Mr. Hoppe, of the German police, said the evidence they had amassed led ‘to the assumption that Madeleine was the victim of a homicide,’” said the New York Times.
It was not until recently that the case received attention and police effort again. The investigation previously fizzled out due to a lack of money & resources. In 2017, London police received a tip on the 10th year anniversary of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance about a possible suspect.
According to the BBC, “. . . in June 2020, police reveal that a 43-year-old German prisoner – named by German media as Christian B – has been identified as a suspect. The McCanns thank police, saying: ‘All we have ever wanted is to find her, uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice.’”
Christian B currently resides in a German jail for crimes not related to Madeleine McCann’s disappearance. Although records show that he lived near Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007, fitting a description of a man seen carrying a child on the Portuguese complex.
The suspect has been known for pedophilia, drug offenses, stealing, breaking into facilities/homes, and has over seventeen offenses on his criminal record. As the case moves forward, people hope it can shed light on what exactly happened to Madeleine McCann.
Parents remain hopeful
It has been thirteen years since Madeleine McCann’s disappearance and her parents vow to never give up hope in finding their daughter. They’ve been doing their best to raise visibility on the matter, being featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and meeting with the Pope. They ask the public to come forward with any details as to the whereabouts of their daughter.
With the police investigating over 600 suspects and misinformation circulated throughout newspapers – the McCann family cross their fingers that this long-winded journey in finding Madeleine will soon come to an end.
For more information about Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, you can pick up a copy of Madeleine: Our Daughter’s Disappearance and the Continuing Search for Her written by Kate & Gerry McCann.