Madeleine McCann: Previous suspects thought to hold key to solving case – The Sun

A GERMAN prisoner has been named as the new prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, detectives have revealed.

The 43-year-old man has not been named but has been described as white with short blonde hair and around 6ft tall with a slim build.

He is known to have been in the area of Praia da Luz on in Portugal's Algarve region where little Maddie disappeared 13 years ago.

A half-hour phone call was made to his Portuguese mobile around an hour before Madeleine went missing from the holiday apartment she was staying in with her family.

The man, who is currently in prison in Germany for another crime, has been linked to an early 1980s campervan that was pictured in the Algarve in 2007 – the year Maddie went missing.

Scotland Yard say he was driving the vehicle with a white upper body and yellow skirting, in the area days before Maddie's disappearance.

He is also believed to have been living in the van for days or weeks before and after May 3.

He has also been linked to a 1993 Jaguar XJR6 with a German number plate seen in Praia da lux and the surrounding areas in 2006 and 2007.

Here we take a look at the other suspects who are yet to be tracked down and who could provide key information to help solve the case.


Described as "disturbing and dirty" by eyewitness Gail Cooper, this suspect was seen near the McCann's apartment building days before she vanished.

The British grandmother, Gail was staying with her family close to the McCann family in 2007.


Two Portuguese men posing as charity collectors were also spotted near the scene.

One of the men, aged between 40 and 45, knocked on the door of where the McCann's were due to stay on April 25 or April 26.

He claimed to be a charity collector when he knocked at around 2pm.

The other, aged 25 to 30, approached a property on the Rua do Ramalhete, near the Ocean Club, at around 4pm on May 3, hours before Madeleine McCann disappeared.


A man who sexually assaulted five girls between the ages of seven and 10 in the Algarve is still at large.

He carried out the horrific attacks on the children between 2004 and 2006 – so the time frame fit perfectly with Maddie's stay.

He was known for preying on holiday homes known for being popular with British families – including two in Praia da Luz.

He spoke in English with a  foreign accent. Scotland Yard detectives have not been able to identify the person responsible.


One man was high on the police radar early on in the investigation.

He was described by two witnesses as being outside the Ocean Club complex that the McCanns were staying in and was seen in the area on the evening Maddie went missing.


Holidaymakers, Mary and Martin Smith saw a man carrying a child matching Madeleine’s description at around 10pm 500 yards from the apartment.

She was described wearing pajaymas and seemed to be sleeping in his arms.

The Irish couple told police he was heading towards the beach, did not look like a tourist and did not seem comfortable.

Martin later said that, after seeing TV footage of Gerry, he was “60-80% certain” he was the man he saw in Praia da Luz.

In October 2013 two e-fits were released to coincide with a BBC Crimewatch show. His identity has never been revealed.


A man described as "very ugly" was seen watching the apartment where the three-year-old's family were staying a day before she vanished.

A British woman said she saw the man and described him as having skin scarred from acne, a large nose, around 5ft 10ins tall and was dressed in casual clothes. She told police he was "very ugly".



This man has been seen by many different witnesses, again near apartment G5A, on 3 May at around 4pm.

He is described as white, normal build, blondish fair hair, which is described as quite close-shaven, aged between 30-35 years old.


A woman who was said to look like Victoria Beckham asked a British businessman in Barcelona whether he had seen her "new daughter", hours after Maddie had gone missing.

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