In 2007, three-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared without a trace. Now–thirteen years, one month, and one day after she vanished–investigators have finally found the man they believe is responsible.
Madeleine disappeared from her bed while on holiday with her family in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Her parents were having dinner less than two hundred feet from the hotel room where Madeleine and her younger twin siblings were asleep.
It shouldn’t have been possible for someone to grab her, yet that’s exactly what happened. Despite an international search effort, no trace of her has ever been found.
Ever since, Madeleine’s family and law enforcement officials have never stopped looking.
Nicknamed “Operation Grange” by Scotland Yard, the investigation received a major push in 2017. This was on the tenth anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance. Detectives begged for any information. Three years later, they finally have a suspect.
Identified only as “Christian B,” the 43-year-old male suspect is currently serving a prison sentence. Investigators can place him near the resort at the time of the abduction. The suspect also has a history of crimes against children.
Stuart Cundy, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, confirmed that they are focused on this German man. “Our main line of inquiry is this suspect. He is the main focus of our investigation, which is why we are making this appeal, to help us with that investigation, to prove or disprove his involvement.”
As for Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, they are hopeful that they might finally get answers. “Of all the thousands of leads and potential suspects that have been mentioned in the past, there has never been something as clear cut as that from not just one, but three, police forces,” a spokesperson for the couple told the BBC.
The search for Madeleine has cost investigators an estimated $14 million.
Unfortunately, investigators don’t have much hope of finding Madeleine alive. Hans Christian Wolters, a representative of the German public prosecutor’s office, stated the truth bluntly. “We are assuming that the girl is dead. With the suspect, we are talking about a sexual predator who has already been convicted of crimes against little girls and he’s already serving a long sentence.”
If this is truly the beginning of the end for Britain’s most notorious child abduction case, then at least the McCann’s will finally get closure.
“All we have ever wanted is to find her, uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice,” Madeleine’s parents said in a joint statement.
“We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive, but whatever the outcome may be, we need to know as we need to find peace.”