A 43-year-old German man named Christian Brückner has been named as a suspect in the controversial Madeline McCann abduction case from 2007. While Brückner is now serving a 15-month sentence for drug charges and is eligible for parole, he is unlikely to be released while also being investigated for the murder of three children and a teenager. The convicted paedophile has reportedly been linked to the McCann case after his former co-workers recalled how Brückner reacted suspiciously when they were discussing the child's disappearance in 2014.

The suspect had been running a kiosk-bar in his hometown of Braunschweig, northern Germany before his arrest last year. In 2014, the workers at the bar were reportedly discussing the disappearance of Madeline. Lenta Johlitz, who was a barmaid at the time, recalled Brückner's reaction.

Johlitz said that Brückner wanted the co-workers to stop discussing Madeline. After they would not stop, he freaked out and said suspicious things. He reportedly ranted "The child is dead now and that's a good thing." He also blurted out that "you can make a body disappear quickly. Pigs also eat human flesh." This could be a clue about what Brückner did to Madeline's body if he was indeed the perpetrator.

Brückner, who had been convicted of child sex abuse in 1994 and 2016, was reportedly living with his underaged girlfriend from Kosovo at the time. A neighbour reported that Brückner often beat his partner. He stated that on one occasion, he had noticed strangulation marks on the girl's neck. The girl used to help Brückner run the kiosk. The police are trying to locate the girl to question her about the disappearance of the children.

According to The Sun, Brückner used to give toys to children who went to the school located next to the kiosk-bar. Brückner also organised drug-fuelled parties at the kiosk when he ran it.

Brückner was arrested for drug trafficking and is being held at Kiel, north Germany. He had been linked by police to the disappearance of a six-year-old boy in Portugal in 1996, the murder of 16-year-old Carola Titze in Belgium in 1996, and a five-year-old girl in Germany in 2015.

According to The Times, an employee at the resort where the McCann family was residing tipped Brückner off. It is alleged that while Kate and Gerry McCann were out with friends, Brückner went to their apartment intending to burgle the apartment and left with Madeline.

Madeleine McCann
Years on from her disappearance, Madeline's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, continue to believe that their daughter may still be alive Reuters