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Madeleine McCann: Formal suspect declared over disappearance of British girl in 2007

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By Euronews  with AFP
The apartment where British girl Madeleine McCann disappeared one year ago is seen with her picture on a windscreen Saturday May 3, 2008 at Praia da Luz beach, Lagos, Portugal
The apartment where British girl Madeleine McCann disappeared one year ago is seen with her picture on a windscreen Saturday May 3, 2008 at Praia da Luz beach, Lagos, Portugal   -   Copyright  Paulo Duarte/AP Photo, FILE

A man has been declared a formal suspect as part of the investigation into the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann 15 years ago, Portuguese authorities said in a statement.

Prosecutors in Faro said that a suspect, who they did not name, was identified by German authorities at their request.

It's the first time Portuguese prosecutors named a formal suspect since Kate and Gerry McCann, the British toddler's parents, were identified as suspects. They were later cleared.

It comes after German authorities said they were investigating a new suspect in the case, Christian B., who is currently serving a jail sentence for the rape of a woman in Portugal in 2005.

Madeleine McCann, known as Maddie, disappeared on 3 May 2007 -- shortly before her fourth birthday -- in Praia da Luz, a seaside resort in southern Portugal, where she was on holiday with her parents and a group of their friends.

The three-year-old's disappearance garnered international attention but the case was closed in 2008 before being reopened five years later.

It was not until June 2020 that the case suddenly accelerated, when prosecutors announced that the girl was likely dead and that there was a new suspect.

German investigators said the suspect had lived a few kilometres away from the hotel in Praia da Luz where McCann disappeared at the time.

Additional sources • Reuters