Portuguese police ‘failed to DNA test evidence in 2005 rape case which could have led to capture of Madeleine McCann prime suspect two years before British girl’s disappearance’
- Items at scene of 2005 Christian Brueckner rape case were not DNA tested
- German prosecutors believe this oversight left Brueckner free to snatch Maddie
- Brueckner raped 72-year-old American woman near McCann holiday apartment
Bungling Portuguese police failed to DNA test evidence in a rape case which could have led to the capture of the prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann case two years before her disappearance, it has emerged today.
Clothes and rope from a villa in southern Portugal where Christian Brueckner raped a 72-year-old American woman in 2005 were not DNA tested.
German prosecutors are now convinced that this crucial oversight by Portuguese police left 43-year-old Brueckner free to snatch Maddie two years later.
Sex criminal Brueckner raped the OAP in the Casa Jacaranda villa – just a 10-minute walk from the Algarve apartment where the McCanns holidayed in 2007.
The 2005 rape case inquiry was abandoned five months after the horrific attack, while neither a red T-shirt stuffed in the victim’s mouth nor a nylon rope used to tie her hands together were DNA tested, according to The Sun.
Portuguese police failed to DNA test evidence in a rape case which could have led to the capture of the prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann case two years before her disappearance (left, Christian Brueckner; right, Madeleine McCann)
Sex criminal Brueckner raped the OAP in the Casa Jacaranda villa – just a 10-minute walk from the Algarve apartment where the McCanns holidayed in 2007
Official documents show Carlos Farinha, then Director of the Judicial Police’s Forensic Science Laboratory, wrote in a November 2009 letter: ‘We have learned by telephone that the examination is no longer necessary. We are therefore cancelling the tests and returning the material sent to us for analysis.’
Brueckner was arrested over the rape in 2017 and convicted in December after German police reinvestigated and did DNA tests.
MailOnline previously reported in June how German prosecutors had written to Maddie’s parents to tell them that she is dead.
They refused to disclose how they knew, insisting that any further information could jeopardise the inquiry into suspect Christian Brueckner.
Hans Christian Wolters, who is leading the case, said he could not share key evidence with Scotland Yard officers or police in Portugal.
German prosecutors are now convinced that this crucial oversight by Portuguese police left 43-year-old Brueckner free to snatch Maddie two years later
MailOnline reported in June how German prosecutors had written to Kate and Gerry McCann (pictured together in 2007) to tell them that she is dead
Christian Brueckner is the prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007
‘I sympathise with the parents but if we reveal more details to them it might jeopardise the investigation,’ he said.
‘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.’
The prosecutor also confirmed there is ‘no forensic evidence’ the child is dead, but there is ‘concrete evidence’ she has not survived her 13-year disappearance.
Scotland Yard and German police have received more than 1,000 calls since sex offender Brueckner, 43, was identified as a suspect in connection with Madeleine’s disappearance from Praia da Luz in May 2007.
They believe the German drifter burgled holiday homes in the Algarve and on some occasions sexually assaulted women and girls inside the properties.
What do we know about Maddie murder suspect Christian Brueckner and his criminal past?
Sex criminal Christian Brueckner
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 on the Madeleine McCann case 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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