German prosecutors say they have handed a dossier of evidence to lawyers of convicted pedophile Christian Brueckner, who is serving time in prison for the rape of a 72-year-old American woman in the village where McCann disappeared, paving the way for new charges.
But prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters says the charges are not related to McCann, but to the rape of another woman in the same village, and a string of “exposure incidents” against children while he worked in the resort McCann was snatched from. German law dictates that suspect’s lawyers are given time to review the evidence before any charges are made public.
German, British, and Portuguese authorities all say they believe that Brueckner, 45, snatched McCann from the bed where she was sleeping near her younger twin siblings as her parents dined with friends at a nearby tapas bar on the evening of May 3, 2007.
Varying theories about what happened next all point to the likelihood that Brueckner was contracted to kidnap her for a child sex ring known to be present in the area at the time. Wolter said he believes that the media attention of the young Briton’s disappearance likely made her unattractive to the traffickers, who would not easily be able to keep her identity hidden. Wolters thinks that is when she was killed.
German investigators say they found a cache of little girl swimming suits and child pornography in the camper van where Brueckner was living and working at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz as a handyman in May 2007.
The new criminal charges do not mention McCann, but do help close the net around him, especially if new witnesses called up in trial supply the missing piece of evidence that ties Brueckner directly to McCann’s now 15-year-old disappearance.