Formal suspect declared by Portuguese authorities in Madeleine McCann disappearance

Madeleine from Rothley was three when she disappeared while on a family holiday in Portugal in 2007. Credit: PA Images

A person has been declared an official suspect in the disappearance of Leicestershire toddler Madeleine McCann for the first time in 15 years.

Portuguese authorities haven't named them but are acting on request of German authorities.

ITV News understands the formal suspect is Christian B - a man German police first said they were investigating in 2020 and is currently in prison in his home country for other offences.

He's never been charged and denies any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance.

In 2020, German police said they were investigating a man in connection with the case known as Christian B. Credit: Police image

On 3 May it will mark 15 years since Madeleine went missing.

This is also the statute of limitation for when Portuguese authorities need to formally declare a person of interest.

Madeleine from Rothley was three when she disappeared while on a family holiday in Portugal in 2007.

On the night of her disappearance, her parents Kate and Gerry McCann left their three children asleep in their holiday apartment while they went to a nearby tapas restaurant with friends.

The parents and their friends were taking turns to check on the children.

When Mrs McCann checked on them at about 10pm, she found three-year-old Madeleine missing.

Portuguese detectives, helped by officers from Leicestershire Police, carried out an investigation into her disappearance.

The Metropolitan Police continue to treat Madeleine’s disappearance as a missing persons inquiry.

The Metropolitan Police continue to treat Madeleine’s disappearance as a missing persons inquiry. Credit: PA Images

The last time an official suspect was identified in the case, it was Madeleine's parents back in 2007. They are no longer suspects.

In a statement, Kate and Gerry McCann said: "We welcome the news that the Portuguese authorities have declared a German man an 'arguido' in relation to the disappearance of our beloved daughter Madeleine.

"This reflects progress in the investigation, being conducted by the Portuguese, German and British authorities.

The apartment where Madeline McCann went missing. Credit: PA Images

"We are kept informed of developments by the Metropolitan Police.

"It is important to note the 'arguido' has not yet been charged with any specific crime related to Madeleine's disappearance.

"Even though the possibility may be slim, we have not given up hope that Madeleine is still alive and we will be reunited with her."


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