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World

15 years later, Portugal identifies a suspect in the probe of a missing British girl

A waiter hangs a picture of missing 3-year-old girl Madeleine McCann on a restaurant's window on May 10 2007, in Praia da Luz, southern Portugal.
Armando Franca
/
AP
A waiter hangs a picture of missing 3-year-old girl Madeleine McCann on a restaurant's window on May 10 2007, in Praia da Luz, southern Portugal.

LISBON, Portugal — Prosecutors in southern Portugal are formally accusing a suspect in the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, a British girl who disappeared nearly 15 years ago while on a family vacation in the southern European country.

A statement on Thursday by the Public Ministry district of Faro, the largest city in Portugal's Algarve region, did not name the suspect but said they were acting on a request by German authorities and in coordination with English investigators.

In mid-2020, Germany's police identified Christian Brueckner, a German citizen, as a suspect in the case.

McCann was 3 years old at the time of her disappearance from an apartment where her family was vacationing in the Algarve seaside town of Praia da Luz.

Brueckner, 45, is serving a sentence on drug offenses in a German prison and has a pending seven-year sentence for the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old American woman in Portugal. The rape also took place in Praia da Luz.

Brueckner has denied any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance.

Investigators in the nearby town of Portimao are leading the probe with the assistance of the Judiciary Police, the prosecutors' statement said.

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