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What we know about the suspect in Madeleine McCann's disappearance

The German national was 30 years old when three-year-old Madeleine vanished in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007.

Image: orla

NEITHER BRITISH NOR German police have named the suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann – but here’s what we do know about him.

He is a German national, now aged 43. At the time Madeleine vanished on 3 May 2007 in Praia da Luz, Portugal, he was 30 years old and may have looked between 25 and his early 30s.

Christian Hoppe, from Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), told the country’s ZDF television channel that he is currently serving a prison sentence for a sex crime and has two previous convictions for “sexual contact with girls”.

He is known to have frequented the Praia da Luz area between 1995 and 2007, with some short spells in Germany.

Hans Christian Wolters, a spokesman for the Braunschweig Public Prosecutor’s Office, said the suspect was regularly living in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007, where he worked jobs, including in the gastronomy business, but funded his lifestyle by committing crimes, including thefts in hotel complexes and apartments, as well as drug dealing.

The suspect is described as having a “transient lifestyle”, living in his camper van for days at a time.

An appeal on German Crimewatch-style programme XY said he was linked to houses in Portugal – including one between Praia da Luz and Lagos.

A former neighbour told Sky News he rented a farm building from an English owner from the mid-90s, leaving a year before Madeleine disappeared.

“He was always a bit angry, driving fast up and down the lane, and then one day, around 2006, he just disappeared without a word. I think he left some rent unpaid,” the neighbour said.

“About six months later, I was asked to help clean up the place and it was disgusting, absolutely vile. It had been trashed, with broken stuff like computers all over the place.”

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2.53997638 Source: PA Images

At the time of Madeleine’s disappearance, he had access to a distinctive VW T3 Westfalia camper van, from at least April 2007 until sometime after May 2007, which was used in and around the area of Praia da Luz.

It is an early 1980s model, with two-tone markings, a white upper body and a yellow skirting, with a Portuguese registration plate.

Detectives believe he was living in the van for days, possibly weeks, and may have been using it on 3 May 2007.

The suspect has also been linked to a 1993 British Jaguar, model XJR 6, with a German number plate and registered in Germany, which is believed to have been in Praia da Luz and surrounding areas in 2006 and 2007.

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