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Belgium reopens cold case over possible link to Madeleine McCann suspect

Carola Titze (16) was found dead in July 1996 in the resort town of De Haan on the Belgian coast.

File photo - De Haan, Belgium
File photo - De Haan, Belgium
Image: Shutterstock/eugen_z

BELGIUM IS REOPENING an investigation into the 1996 murder of a German teenager because of a possible link with the man suspected of murdering British girl Madeleine McCann.

Carola Titze (16) was found dead with her body mutilated in July 1996 in the resort town of De Haan on the Belgian coast. 

The public prosecutor’s office in Bruges “is indeed reopening the file relating to this murder”, a spokesman told AFP, without giving further details.

At the time, Titze was on holiday with her parents and the investigation turned to a German suspect in his early 20s.

The man had bragged to her about his criminal past, according to the Belgian media, but he was never found.

Following the identification of the German suspect in the Madeline McCann case, Paul Gevaert, the now retired investigator in charge of the Titze case, said there was “certainly a connection to be made”. 

The suspect, named as Christian B by German media, has a history of previous sex offences, including child abuse and rape.

“The description (of Christian B, now 43) fits,” Gevaert told Belgian newspaper De Standaard.

His investigation was closed unsolved in 2016. 

McCann went missing from her family’s holiday apartment in Portugal on 3 May 2007, a few days before her fourth birthday, as her parents dined with friends at a nearby tapas bar. 

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Her disappearance sparked one of the biggest searches of its kind in recent years.

German police last week raised hopes that the case could finally be solved when they revealed they were investigating the new suspect.

Currently held at Kiel prison in the north of Germany, the suspect is serving a jail term for drug trafficking.

The man has refused to speak about the Madeline McCann case, one of his lawyers told German television yesterday.

- © AFP 2020

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