Great Britain

How Madeleine McCann suspect’s mystery 30 min call and orange campervan led to new evidence in Maddie case

DETECTIVES have revealed key new evidence in the probe into the disappearance of  Madeleine McCann.

New clues include a mystery phone call one hour before she was last seen and a camper van the prime suspect is believed to have been living in.

Met Police chiefs tonight revealed a German prisoner, 43, has been identified as a major new suspect in the case 13 years after Madeleine disappeared in Portugal in May 2007.

Among the bombshell findings is a 30-minute phonecall the suspect took just one hour before the three-year-old is feared to have been snatched from her bed.

German police also revealed pictures of two vehicles used by the suspect - saying that "he could have used one of these vehicles to commit the crime".

Cops have said the man is believed to be a drifter who had previous convictions for sex offences.

You can help by calling Operation Grange with information on 0207 321 9251 or email [email protected]

Cops said they were taking the "really unusual" step of releasing two mobile phone numbers as part of the appeal to try to find Maddie.

The first, (+351) 912 730 680, is believed to have been used by the suspect and received a call from another Portuguese mobile, (+351) 916 510 683, while in the Praia da Luz area.

The call started at 7.32pm and ended at 8.02pm on the night Maddie vanished.

Later that night, Maddie's dad Gerry found nothing amiss when he checked in on the his daughter and her twin siblings just after 9pm at their holiday flat at the Ocean Club.

But when Kate returned at about 10pm she discovered their daughter had vanished.

Detectives also said the suspect has been linked to a 1980s white caravan with yellow skirting that was registered in Portugal and pictured in the Algarve in 2007.

Cops say he was driving the vehicle in the same town just days before Madeleine vanished.

He is also believed to have been living in it for days or weeks before and after the date of her disappearance.

The German lag - in prison on an unrelated matter - has also been linked to a 1993 Jaguar XJR6 with a German number plate seen in Praia da Luz and the surrounding areas in 2006 and 2007.

On May 4, 2007 - the day after Madeleine vanished - the man got the Jaguar re-registered in Germany under someone else's name although it is believed the vehicle remained in Portugal.

Police have seized both vehicles and described the major new prime suspect as white with short blond hair, possibly fair, and around 6ft tall and of slim build.

German cops are treating Maddie’s disappearance as murder  - though the Met Police are still investigating the case as a missing person inquiry.

The man emerged as a “significant” suspect following a vital breakthrough in the case from a witness who came forward following a 10th anniversary appeal by the Met for information in 2017.

The man was already known to British and Portuguese cops investigating the case.

MADDIE SUSPECT'S JAGUAR

THE FIRST of the vehicles linked to the new German suspect is a 1993 Jaguar XJR6.

The car has a German number plate and was seen in Praia da Luz and the surrounding areas in 2006 and 2007.

The car is described as "dark red" in colour and has been seized by cops.

On the day after Madeleine went missing, the suspect got the car re-registered in Germany under someone else's name.

However, it is believed the vehicle was still in Portugal.

German cops have said they believe the man was using the vehicle at the time.

Anyone who believes they may have seen the Jaguar is urged to contact police.

German Police have said the suspect lived in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007 - spending some time in a house between Lagos and Praia da Luz.

He was known for pursuing several "odd jobs" in the Lagos area.

However, cops said it is suspected he may have made his living by committing crimes.

He is believed to have stolen from hotel complexes and holiday apartments, and to have been involved in drug trafficking.

The suspect has also been jailed on multiple occasions for the sexual abuse of children

MADDIE SUSPECT'S CAMPERVAN

THE SECOND car linked to the suspect is a white and yellow VW T3 Westfalia.

He is believed to have been living in it for days or weeks before and after May 3.

The vehicle has Portugese registration, but German police have clarified the suspect was not the owner.

It has a white upper body and yellow skirting, registered in Portugal - which was pictured in the Algarve in 2007.

Scotland Yard said he was driving the vehicle in the Praia da Luz area in the days before Madeleine's disappearance.

Anyone who is believes they may have seen the VW is urged to contact police.

Cops are also focusing their investigation on the mysterious phone call the suspect made just one hour before Maddie was last seen.

The caller, who is not thought to have been in the Praia da Luz area, is not being treated as a suspect, but is said to be a "key witness" in the case.

Det Chief Insp Mark Cranwell said: "Any information in relation to these mobile numbers during the spring and summer of 2007 could be critical to this investigation.

"Some people will know the man we are describing today, the suspect in our investigation. I'm appealing to you directly.

"You may know, you may be aware of some of the things he has done. He may have confided in you about the disappearance of Madeleine.

"More than 13 years have passed and your loyalties may have changed.

"This individual is in prison and we are conscious that some people may have been concerned about contacting police in the past. Now is the time to come forward.

"I'm appealing to you to contact us, or the German authorities or the Portuguese authorities.

"I should be very, very clear on this - while this male is a suspect, we retain an open mind as to his involvement."

MADDIE MOBILE CLUE

DETECTIVES are appealing for information about the two mobile phone numbers on a mystery call just one hour before Maddie vanished.

The suspect's number was +351 912 730 680.

The number which called him is +351 916 510 683 – but cops have not found who was using it.

He took a call at 7.32pm and that ended at 8.02pm on the night Maddie vanished.

Maddie's dad Gerry found nothing amiss when he looked in on the youngsters just after 9pm.

But when Kate returned at about 10pm she discovered their daughter had vanished.

German police have described the prime suspect as white with short blond hair, possibly fair, and around 6ft tall with a slim build.

Scotland Yard is now launching a joint appeal with the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany (BKA) and the Portuguese Policia Judiciaria (PJ) - with a £20,000 reward for information.

The Met's £12million Operation Grange probe into the disappearance has identified more than 600 potentially significant suspects.

They were tipped off about the major new suspect, who was already known to police, following an appeal for information in 2017 - ten years after Madeleine vanished.

A statement from Madeleine's parents, read by DCI Cranwell, said: "We welcome the appeal today regarding the disappearance of our daughter Madeleine.

"We would like to thank the police officers involved for their continued efforts in the search for Madeleine.

"All we have ever wanted is to find her, uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice.

"We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive, but whatever the outcome may be, we need to know as we need to find peace."

The breakthrough - revealed in a press conference by Scotland Yard tonight - could be the biggest leap forward in the £12million investigation so far.

Maddie disappeared from her holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, while her parents Kate and Gerry enjoyed tapas with their friends nearby.

When Kate returned to check on Maddie and her twin siblings Sean and Amelie at around 10pm that evening, she discovered the youngster was not in her bed.

Despite a 13-year search for the missing girl and countless conspiracy theories and potential suspects, no trace of Madeleine – who would now be 17 – has ever been found.

Madeleine McCann ‘spotted’ at Moroccan petrol station days after vanishing by Brit couple who are convinced to this day it was her

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