In a tragic ending to a horrific case, German prosecutors have recently revealed that Madeleine McCann is dead. The news was given to the young girl's parents last week in a letter from the attorneys.
The prosecutors did not disclose how they had this information because it involved evidence that needs to remain secret until the suspect is facing trial.
The primary suspect in the case has been named as Christian Brueckner, and authorities say that they have been discovering more evidence showing that he is responsible for the girl's death.
Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters says that the evidence must remain secret to ensure that the suspect is brought to justice.
"I sympathize with the parents but if we reveal more details to them it might jeopardize the investigation. We have concrete evidence that our suspect has killed Madeleine and this means she is dead," he said.
"But we can’t say why she is dead – it is more important that we are successful and we are able to get the culprit as opposed to just putting our cards on the table and telling them why we think she might be," he added.
Just two years ago, Brueckner was arrested in Italy on charges related to a different case, where he was accused of raping an American in 2007. DNA matching his was also found at the scene. He was also charged in numerous other sexual assaults of American tourists.
In December of 2019, he was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison based on the evidence against him, but the case is pending appeal, so the sentence has not yet been imposed.
It is not immediately clear how he became a suspect in this case as well, but the evidence must be significant for him to be named by authorities.
3-year-old McCann, went missing while the family was on vacation in 2007, and the case has been shrouded in mystery ever since.
Rogerio Alves, a lawyer who represents the McCanns in Portugal, has been putting pressure on German investigators to reveal what evidence they have and demanded to know ‘what is being done to solve the case’.
He accused the three police forces involved in the investigation of ‘keeping information for themselves’ and demanded them to be more open about the evidence with the family.
Meanwhile, Portuguese police are preparing to search Brueckner's Praia da Luz villa in search of Maddie McCann's body. The suspect is also believed to have rented a farmhouse that is less than a half-hour away from where the young girl disappeared. It is believed that while he was in the neighborhood, he would lurk through the area robbing and stealing from different houses, and occasionally even committing sexual assaults when he had the opportunity.
The family has declined to comment on the developments in the case.
In a statement to the press, Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns, said "The McCanns simply will not comment on private correspondence, be that from the prosecutor, the police or indeed anyone else. Nor will they be giving a running commentary on their liaisons with the German authorities as the investigation moves forward."