United Kingdom

Madeleine McCann suspect 'is capable of taking a child', partner-in-crime says

A German drifter and partner-in-crime of Maddie prime suspect Christian Brueckner has branded him an 'evil psychopath' who is 'capable of taking a child'.

Manfred Seyferth, 64, said 43-year-old Brueckner was known as 'The Climber' for his ability to break into homes, and was robbing apartments in Praia da Luz the year the toddler vanished.

Seyferth, who acted as a key witness against Brueckner when he was jailed for the rape of an American woman in 2018, believes the peadophile is guilty of taking thee-year-old Madeleine from her parents' holiday apartment in 2007.

Manfred Seyferth, 64 (left), has branded Maddie chief suspect Chrisitan Brueckner (right) an 'evil psychopath' who is 'easily capable of taking a small child'

Speaking to The Sun, he added: 'Christian is a bad, bad man. He is evil.

'I never liked him and he is a psychopath. He is obsessed with small children and I didn’t like it.

'He always had a young girlfriend with him and I think he is easily capable of taking a small child.'

Investigators from Britain and Germany have not charged Brueckner in the Madeleine McCann case, but earlier this year revealed he is their prime suspect.

While the case remains a 'missing persons' inquiry in the UK, prosecutors in Germany have gone a step further and claimed to have strong evidence that she is dead.

Brueckner has been named by investigators in the UK and Germany as the prime suspect in Madeleine's 2007 disappearance

However, that evidence has not been revealed to the public, and despite assurances to the contrary, Madeleine's family and legal team say they have not seen it either.

Detectives claim phone signals place Brueckner in the area of Praia da Luz on the night Madeleine vanished from her parent's holiday apartment - May 3.

They say that Brueckner, who left Germany for Portugal in 1995 after serving jail time for a child sex offence, then left Portugal and returned to Germany shortly after Maddie went missing.

That tallies with an account given by Seyferth, who claims to have lived inside a camper van parked next to a farmhouse that Brueckner rented in the Algarve.

He says Brueckner upped and left after the schoolgirl's disappearance, and that he didn't see him again until a year later, at a hippie festival in Spain.

'He turned up in a big American camper van and was with a young girl, she looked about 15 and he would have been double her age,' he said.

'I didn’t like it one bit so I had nothing to do with him.

'That’s why I think he may have something to do with Maddie. He broke in and saw her and because he likes young girls — he’s got lots of convictions — he took her.'

Seyferth was living in a camper van next to a house that Brueckner rented near Praia da Luz (pictured) the year Maddie went missing, and said he was breaking into properties in the area

Maddie went missing from a holiday home she was staying in with her parents in Praia da Luz (pictured) in what police now believe started as a burglary, but escalated into kidnapping

Seyferth also spoke about finding videos inside Brueckner's apartment that showed him torturing and raping the American woman, which led to a lengthy jail sentence which he is currently serving in Germany.

Brueckner is appealing that sentence, with a verdict expected next week.

Seyferth said that, along with the video of the American woman, he and another man - Helge Busching - also found a gun, and a video of Brueckner apparently torturing a second woman, who appeared to be around 15 years old.

Describing the footage as 'evil', Seyferth added that he and Busching took the gun and tossed it into a lake.

It is unclear who the other woman in the footage is, though Seyferth said she appeared around the age of Brueckner's girlfriends. 

Busching is believed to be the man who gave Brueckner's name to Scotland Yard, though it is unclear why he waited so long to do so.

Friedrich Fulscher, the lawyer representing Brueckner, says German investigators have yet to send him any evidence in the case.

He points out that his client has not yet been charged, and in the meantime, it is up to detectives to prove his guilt. 

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