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Prosecutors probing Madeleine McCann’s disappearance are “100% convinced” that German paedo Christian Brueckner kidnapped her.
Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters admitted the evidence against Brueckner, 44, is “circumstantial”.
He said they’ve no videos to prove Madeleine, who aged three went missing in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007, is dead.
They also have no idea how she died and no DNA linking the German to the crime. But Mr Wolters is convinced Brueckner, who is in jail in Germany, killed the British youngster.
Mr Wolters told the McCanns: “We are confident we have the man who took and killed your daughter.”
He added: “I personally think a conclusion will be reached next year.”
Earlier this year Kate and Gerry McCann said they “hang on to the hope, however small, that we will see Madeleine again”.
When the dramatic suspect breakthrough was announced in 2020, the parents added: "We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive."
Maddie vanished on May 3, 2007.
What has followed is years of indescribable pain for the parents and an unwavering mission to find her.
The family had arrived at the two-bed ground floor apartment, 5a Vila da Luz, on April 28 for a holiday with seven friends at the resort of Ocean Club in Praia Da Luz, Portugal.
Kate and Gerry, both doctors from Rothley, Leicestershire, had been at a Tapas restaurant about 200ft away when the toddler vanished.
After Madeleine was tucked up in bed she was never seen again.
The couple marked daughter Madeleine’s 18th birthday in May by leaving cards and gifts in her room, untouched since she went missing.
Meanwhile, pictures released from police files in 2008 show inside the apartment where the then-toddler is believed to have been snatched.
One picture shows bed covers gathered together in the middle of one of the beds in the room where Madeleine slept, while the decor is plain with minimal furniture.
Another photo from a different angle shows two single beds and two baby cots in the room where her twin siblings Sean and Amelie would have slept.
Keys and passports lay scattered on a table, beds remain unmade and clothing is slung over the back of a dining chair.
In the living room, a wooden dining table is seen with four chairs and clothes hanging over them.
The apartment would become the centre of one of the world's biggest missing persons cases.
Police in Portugal have previously come under fire for not containing it as a crime scene thoroughly enough after Madeleine was reported missing.
Shockingly, around 20 people were allowed to wander in and out freely, potentially contaminating vital forensic evidence.
One former police officer described it as the "worst preserved crime scene" he had witnessed.
- Madeleine Mccann
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