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Portugal appoints suspect in probe of missing British girl

LISBON, PORTUGAL (AP) – 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 German citizen Christian Brueckner as a suspect in the case.

McCann was three 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 offences 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.

Kate and Gerry McCann pose with an artist’s impression of how their daughter might look now. PHOTO: AFP
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