In Brief

Madeleine McCann: German prosecutors says missing girl is ‘assumed dead’

New suspect identified in the case is a convicted German sex offender

German police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007 have said that she is “assumed dead”.

A 43-year-old German man, revealed by police today as a new suspect in the case, is being investigated on suspicion of murder, the public prosecutor added.

The suspect, who has been named in the German media as Christian B, is currently serving a prison sentence for a separate offence.

Christian B is believed to have been in the area where McCann, aged three, was last seen while on holiday in Portugal, the BBC says.

Hans Christian Wolters, from the Braunschweig Public Prosecutor's Office in northern Germany, said in an update on Thursday: “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.”

According to Sky News, the suspect had been living in Algarve between 1995 and 2007 and is thought to have financed his life by “committing crimes including thefts in hotels, apartments and drug dealing”.

He worked odd jobs in Lagos, including catering, the public prosecutor said, and last had residence in Braunschweig, Germany before moving abroad.

Read more: Why everybody's talking about the new Madeleine McCaan suspect

The police are appealing for any member of the public with information about the suspect to come forward.

Before the German prosecutor spoke, McCann’s parents (pictured) issued a statement saying: “All we have ever wanted is to find her, uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice. 

“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.”

Those with information relating to the case can contact the Met Police’s incident room on 020 7321 9251

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