Bungling London police FAILED to forward two letters to Maddie McCann’s parents that German investigators sent care of Scotland Yard revealing their daughter’s case was being treated as murder
- Kate and Gerry McCann rubbished claims they’d been sent notes by authorities
- German prosecutor says they went to Scotland Yard, who failed to pass them on
- It comes amid a disjointed probe between forces in UK, Germany and Portugal
Madeleine McCann’s parents have failed to receive crucial letters about their daughter’s disappearance after a blunder by British police.
Kate and Gerry McCann rubbished claims from German authorities earlier this week that they were sent a note informing them Madeleine is dead.
But prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters has insisted two letters were indeed sent, albeit indirectly, to Scotland Yard, where police chiefs then failed to pass them on, according to The Sun.
Madeleine McCann has been missing since she disappeared on holiday in Portugal in 2007
Kate and Gerry McCann, pictured, failed to receive crucial letters about their daughter’s disappearance after a blunder by British police
But prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters, pictured, has insisted two letters were indeed sent, albeit indirectly, to Scotland Yard, where police chiefs then failed to pass them on
13 years of heartache: Timeline of the key events in the hunt for missing Madeleine McCann
May 3, 2007 – Madeleine McCann disappears from her apartment in Praia da Luz.
May 4 – Police do not set up effective searches or alert the Spanish border for 12 hours. A basic check of other guests is not done for 48 hours.
May 30 – The McCanns meet the Pope in Rome during a series of trips around Europe and beyond to highlight the search.
August – Sniffer dogs reportedly find blood traces in the McCanns’ apartment.
September 7 – The McCanns are made arguidos – official suspects. They were totally exonerated the following year.
2008 – Detective Goncalo Amaral falsely claims the McCanns hid Madeleine’s body.
2011 – The Met Police launches Operation Grange and identify almost 200 new lines of inquiry.
2013 – The Met identifies 38 people ‘of interest’. Portuguese detectives reopen the case.
2017 – A witness comes forward with the name of the German suspect, Christian Brueckner. The McCanns reveal they still buy gifts for Madeleine.
June 3, 2020 – Police sensationally reveal that they are investigating a German sex offender. Brueckner’s name emerges the following day.
June 8 – German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters says he has evidence Madeleine is dead – but won’t say what it is.
June 15 – Mr Wolters says he has written to the McCanns telling them he has evidence their daughter is dead. Once again, he gives no details.
Mr Wolters said the first letter, dispatched at the end of May, confirmed that German police were treating the case as a murder, while the second was sent last week to update them on the investigation.
It is the latest revelation in what appears to be a disjointed operation involving forces in Germany, Britain and Portugal, where Madeleine vanished in 2007.
Investigators with the Portuguese Judiciaria said last week they were ‘incensed’ at the way they are being made to look like they are dragging their feet over the renewed appeal for help, as Mr Wolters described working with police in the country of the youngster’s disappearance as ‘cumbersome’.
Kate and Gerry have never given up hope of finding their daughter and new life was breathed into the 13-year-old case this month when German sex attacker Christian Brueckner was named by prosecutors as prime murder suspect.
Scotland Yard and German police have received more than 1,000 calls since Brueckner, 43, was identified.
They believe the German drifter burgled holiday homes in the Algarve and on some occasions sexually assaulted women and girls inside the properties.
Public appeals for information have featured Brueckner’s former farmhouse and another property in which he stayed, as well as a VW campervan and Jaguar car he owned.
Detectives are also trying to find the person who phoned him an hour before Madeleine disappeared, shortly before her fourth birthday.
Police say that Brueckner received the call near the McCanns’ holiday apartment in the Ocean Club complex.
Mr Wolters said this week: ‘We have concrete evidence that our suspect has killed Madeleine and this means she is dead.
‘The parents have been told the German police have evidence that she is dead but we have not told them the details.’
However, Kate and Gerry hit back with a furious rebuke, in which they said: ‘The widely reported news that we have a received a letter from the German authorities that states there is evidence or proof that Madeleine is dead is FALSE.’
‘Like many unsubstantiated stories in the media, this has caused unnecessary anxiety to friends and family and once again disrupted our lives.
Christian Brueckner is the latest man to be linked with Madeline’s disappearance after a long history of offences
‘As we have stated many times before, we will not give a running commentary on the investigation – that is the job of the law enforcement agencies and we will support them in any way requested.’
Now, though, it has emerged the mix-up came at Metropolitan Police headquarters.
A spokesman told The Sun: ‘We do not comment on or confirm any private correspondence.’
Mr Wolters added that he didn’t want to add more details about German authorities’ contact with the family, saying it was ‘not necessary at the moment’.
What do we know about Maddie murder suspect Christian Brueckner and his criminal past?
1976: Christian Brueckner is born in Würzburg under a different name, believed to be Fischer. He was adopted by the Brueckner family and took their surname.
1992: Christian Brueckner is arrested on suspicion of burglary in his hometown of Wurzburg, Bavaria.
1994: He is given a two-year sentence for ‘abusing a child’ and ‘performing sex acts in front of a child’.
1995: Brueckner arrives in Portugal as an 18-year-old backpacker and begins working in catering in the seaside resorts of Lagos and Praia da Luz.
But friends say he became involved with a criminal syndicate trafficking drugs into the Algarve.
September 2005: He dons a mask and breaks into an apartment where a 72-year-old American tourist.
The victim was bound, gagged, blindfolded and whipped with a metal cane before being raped for 15 minutes. She said afterwards that he had clearly enjoyed ‘torturing’ her before the rape.
April 2007: He moves out of a farmhouse and into a campervan linked to the crime. The farmhouse is cleaned and a bag of wigs is found.
May 3, 2007: Madeleine McCann is snatched at around 10pm from her bed as her parents eat tapas with friends yards away.
Brueckner’s mobile phone places him in the area that night. He returns to his native Germany shortly after that.
October 2011: He is sentenced to 21 months for ‘dealing narcotics’ in Niebüll, in northern Germany.
2014: He moves to Braunschweig where he starts running a town-centre kiosk. He then goes back to Portugal with a girlfriend.
2016: He is back in Germany. He is given 15 months in prison for ‘sexual abuse of a child in the act of creating and possessing child pornographic material’.
May 3, 2017: Brueckner is said to be in a bar with a friend when a ten-year anniversary appeal following Madeleine’s disappearance is shown on German television. He is said to have told him in a bar that he ‘knew all about’ what happened to her. He then showed his friend a video of him raping a woman.
MailOnline understands the friend went to police shortly afterwards.
June 2017: He heads back to Portugal and extradited again to Germany. The reason was a sentencing of the Braunschweig district court to 15 months’ imprisonment for the sexual abuse of a child.
August 2018: After his release from prison he lives on the streets. But he was jailed again for drug offences.
First Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters addresses the media during a press conference on the Madeleine McCann case at the public prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig
September 2018: Brueckner is arrested in Italy and extradited to Germany and put on trial for raping an American in 2007 after a DNA match was found at the crime scene.
July 2019: He is jailed for 21 months for drug dealing in the northern German resort of Sylt.
August 2019: Brueckner is charged with the rape of the American tourist in Praia da Luz in 2005.
December 2019: He is convicted of rape of extortion of the tourist based on DNA evidence. He is given a seven year sentence, but this has not been imposed pending an appeal.
June 3, 2020: Scotland Yard and the German police reveal that that they have identified a suspect in the Maddie McCann case
June 4, 2020: Prosecutors in Braunschweig, where he lives, say they believe Madeleine McCann has been murdered, says spokesman Hans Christian Wolters. He is named in the German press as the prime suspect.
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