Who is Christian Brueckner? Madeleine Mccann suspect and sex offender
Who is Christian Brueckner? The German Madeleine Mccann suspect and sex offender
- Christian Breuckner is convicted paedophile and has been linked to many cases
- The German native is currently in prison for the rape of a woman, 72, in Portugal
- READ MORE: Madeleine McCann detectives search reservoir Brueckner visited
The disappearance of three-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann from a popular holiday resort in Portugal’s Algarve has confounded detectives for more than 16 years.
No one has ever been charged in connection with the disappearance of Maddie, who would now be almost 20, but last year a convicted sex offender was named as the prime suspect in the high profile case.
German native Christian Brueckner is currently in prison for the unrelated rape of a 72-year-old woman in Praia da Luz – the same resort the little girl went missing from.
Formerly referred to only as Christian B, the suspect’s yellow and white campervan was reportedly spotted near the area where the young girl went missing on May 3, 2007.
Now, police are searching a remote reservoir 31 miles from the resort which Brueckner reportedly used to visit, and called ‘his little paradise’.
As prosecutors try to build a picture of Brueckner’s life on the Algarve, MailOnline looks at why the convicted paedophile is a suspect in the notorious case.
Last year convicted sex offender Christian Brueckner was named as the prime suspect in the high profile case
No one has been charged in connection with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, who would now be almost 20
Police are searching a remote reservoir 31 miles from Praia da Luz which Brueckner reportedly used to visit, and called ‘his little paradise’
Who is Christian Brueckner?
Christian Brueckner is a German native and sex offender who is the sole named suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
The prisoner is a prolific burglar and has been convicted for sex crimes against young girls.
He was born in Germany in 1976 and moved to Portugal in his late teens, working in the food industry.
He is believed to have resided in the country between 1995 and 2007 and spent time living in his campervan there not far from the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz.
Pictures have been released of Brueckner behind bars in Germany, where he is currently serving a prison sentence.
He is described as being about 6ft tall, slim and having short blond hair.
Brueckner was officially named as a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case in April 2022.
Brueckner was officially named as a suspect in April 2022 after his yellow and white VW T3 Westfalia campervan was reportedly spotted near the Praia da Luz resort
Why is he a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case?
Brueckner was named a suspect in the case after his yellow and white VW T3 Westfalia campervan was reportedly spotted near the Praia da Luz resort in Portugal where Maddie vanished.
He has denied he was in the area at the time and distanced himself from the allegations against him.
But German prosecutors say phone logs show he received a call on May 3, 2007 near the Ocean Club.
Brueckner maintains that he was miles away with a young German woman, who he insists he had been driving to the airport in Faro.
Detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann (left) launched a major search of a Portuguese reservoir that suspect Christian Brueckner (right) used to call his ‘little paradise’
Last year, he spoke out for the first time on the case, denying allegations he was involved in her disappearance in a letter seen by MailOnline.
Made an official suspect in the case in April 2022, he stressed that he was ‘not there at the time and that he was not living close to the place [of her disappearance].’
Portuguese police named Brueckner an arguido, or formal suspect, in the case on 21 April last year.
It was the first time they had identified an official suspect in Maddie’s disappearance since 2007.
Authorities’ interest in Brueckner was first sparked in 2017, after he allegedly told a drinking buddy ‘he knew all about’ what had happened to the little girl as they sat in a bar in Portugal ten years after she vanished.
Now police have launched a major search of a Portuguese reservoir that prime suspect Christian Brueckner used to call his ‘little paradise’.
The reservoir lies about 45 minutes from Praia da Luz – where Madeleine vanished without a trace in 2007 aged three
Why is he in prison in Germany?
Brueckner is currently in prison for the rape of a 72-year-old American woman in Praia da Luz.
He is currently serving a seven-year sentence in Oldenburg jail in northern Germany for the 2005 attack, which took place just 18 months before Maddie’s disappearance.
He was known to break into Algarve hotel rooms and apartments to supplement his income from drug dealing.
He was said to have planned to rob the woman’s apartment but ‘moved on to a sexual motive’.
It is understood he has 17 convictions against him for various crimes in Germany, including child sex abuse and burglary.
What other cases has he been linked to?
Brueckner has been charged by German prosecutors with several sex crimes he allegedly committed in Portugal between 28 December 2000 and 11 June 2017.
In April 2007 he allegedly exposed himself to a 10-year-old German girl on Salema beach, very close to where Madeleine disappeared a month later.
Prosecutors also accused him of raping a woman and two girls, including an Irish national identified as Hazel B, who was 20 when she was allegedly attacked in 2004.
Brueckner is currently in prison for the rape of a 72-year-old American woman in Praia da Luz
A spokesperson from the Braunschweig prosecutor’s office said: ‘The accused is the same person against whom charges were brought in connection with the disappearance of the then three-year-old British girl Madeleine Beth McCann.
‘Specifically, the accused is charged with three offences of aggravated rape and two offences of sexual abuse of children.
‘The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann continues.’
What do we know about Maddie murder suspect Christian Brueckner and his criminal past?
1976: Christian Brueckner (pictured) is born in Würzburg under a different name, believed to be Fischer. He was adopted by the Brueckner family and took their surname.
1992: Christian Brueckner is arrested on suspicion of burglary in his hometown of Wurzburg, Bavaria.
1994: He is given a two-year youth jail sentence for ‘abusing a child’ and ‘performing sex acts in front of a child’.
1995: Brueckner arrives in Portugal as an 18-year-old backpacker and begins working in catering in the seaside resorts of Lagos and Praia da Luz.
But friends say he became involved with a criminal syndicate trafficking drugs into the Algarve.
September 2005: He dons a mask and breaks into an apartment where he rapes a 72-year-old American tourist.
The victim was bound, gagged, blindfolded and whipped with a metal cane before being raped for 15 minutes. She said afterwards that he had clearly enjoyed ‘torturing’ her before the rape.
April 2007: He moves out of a farmhouse and into a campervan now linked to the crime. The farmhouse is cleaned and a bag of wigs and ‘exotic clothes’ is found.
May 3, 2007: Madeleine McCann is snatched at around 10pm from her bed as her parents eat tapas with friends yards away.
Brueckner’s mobile phone places him in the area that night. He returns to his native Germany shortly after that.
October 2011: He is sentenced to 21 months for ‘dealing narcotics’ in Niebüll, in northern Germany.
2014: He moves to Braunschweig where he starts running a town-centre kiosk. He then goes back to Portugal with a girlfriend.
2016: He is back in Germany. He is given 15 months in prison for ‘sexual abuse of a child in the act of creating and possessing child pornographic material’.
May 3, 2017: Brueckner is said to be in a bar with a friend when a ten-year anniversary appeal following Madeleine’s disappearance is shown on German television.
First Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters addresses the media during a press conference on the Madeleine McCann case at the public prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig
He is said to have told him in a bar that he ‘knew all about’ what happened to her. He then showed his friend a video of him raping a woman.
MailOnline understands the friend went to police shortly afterwards.
June 2017: He heads back to Portugal and extradited again to Germany. The reason was a sentencing of the Braunschweig district court to 15 months’ imprisonment for the sexual abuse of a child.
August 2018: After his release from prison he lives on the streets. But he was jailed again for drug offences.
September 2018: Brueckner is arrested in Milan, Italy and extradited to Germany and put on trial for raping the American tourist in 2007 after a DNA match to hair found at the crime scene.
July 2019: He is jailed for 21 months for drug dealing in the northern German resort of Sylt.
August 2019: Brueckner is charged with the rape of the American tourist in Praia da Luz in 2005.
December 2019: He is convicted of rape of extortion of the tourist based on DNA evidence. He is given a seven year sentence, but this has not been imposed pending an appeal.
June 3, 2020: Scotland Yard and the German police reveal that that they have identified a suspect in the Maddie McCann case
June 4, 2020: Prosecutors in Braunschweig, where he lives, say they believe Madeleine McCann has been murdered, says spokesman Hans Christian Wolters. He is named in the German press as the prime suspect.
May 4, 2021: Kate and Gerry McCann post a statement on the Official Find Madeleine Campaign website saying they still cling to the hope of seeing their daughter again as they prepare to mark her 18th birthday on May 12.
April 21, 2022: Christian Brueckner, now 44, is made an ‘arguido’, a formal suspect, by Portuguese authorities. But he has not been charged.
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