Madeleine McCann suspect’s van examined for clues by German police

A vehicle believed to driven by Christian Brueckner around the time Madeleine McCann disappeared is being examined (Picture: PA)

German investigators are examining a white van once driven by the prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Christian Brueckner is believed to have been behind the wheel of a Mercedes Sprinter van around the time the toddler vanished in Portugal 16 years ago.

A similar vehicle was found parked at a woodland site Brueckner owned in Germany, though investigators are not certain it is the one he owned.

Germany’s federal police force, the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), are now swabbing the vehicle for clues in the hopes it could still contain DNA, The Sun reported.

A BKA source told the tabloid that investigators are ‘getting in touch’ with a Rosier dealership in Gartenstadt, Braunschweig, which leased the van to Brueckner between 2014 and 2015.

A dealership employee told The Olive Press that they are ‘fully aware of the name Brueckner and are happy to give the details to the police’.

Brueckner has never been formally charged in connection to the youngster’s disappearance (Picture: Julian Stratenschulte/DPA/Cover)

She added: ‘We cleaned it and repaired it but it wouldn’t have been wiped of all DNA.’

The outlet reported that the van was found at a derelict box factory in Neuwegersleben where Brueckner lived on and off during the mid-2010s.

When searched by police, officers found 8,000 films and photographs containing child sonography stored on eight devices hidden inside a Lidl bag.

McCann vanished in 2007 while on vacation in the Algarve region of Portugal with her parents and siblings.

They had been staying at the seaside village of Praia da Luz when Kate and Gerry McCann, Madeleine’s parents, left their daughter with her siblings, two-year-old twins, at their holiday home to dine out at a nearby restaurant.

When Kate checked in on the children at around 10pm, Madeleine was gone.

Madeleine vanished while her family were holidaying in Portugal (Picture: PA)

Brueckner, a sex offender, was named as the chief suspect in the case by German prosecutors in 2020. The authorities say he made a living working in restaurants, flogging used cars and dealing drugs.

He’s never been charged in connection with the case and he denies having any involvement in her disappearance.

Brueckner is currently in a German prison for the rape of a 72-year-old woman in her Praia da Luz home in 2005.

He is on trial for five unrelated charges, including three of rape, alleged to have been committed in Portugal between 2000 and 2017.

All the attacks took place close to where Madeleine vanished in Praia da Luz in May 2007, it is claimed.

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