German Public Prosecutors Confirm They Believe Madeleine McCann Is Dead
The suspect is currently in prison in Germany for a separate crime, but is known to have frequented the area of Portugal that McCann was abducted from.
Hans Christian Wolters from the Braunschweig Public Prosecutor's Office gave a press conference today in which he said: "In connection with the disappearance of Madeleine Beth McCann on the 3 June 2007 in Praia de Luz, the public prosecution office has charged the suspect with murder.
"We assume that the girl is dead. It is a sexual offender that has been convicted several times also for a sexual abuse against children. He is currently in prison in a different matter.
"Between 1995 and 2007 he spent time regularly on the Algarve. He spent time in a house between Lagos and Praia da Luz.
"As far as we know during that time in the area of Lagos he had several casual jobs, amongst others in catering.
"The suspect has admitted burglaries in the resorts and holiday flats and also drug dealing."
He also made a phone call on the evening of her death, and transferred ownership of a vehicle to another name the day after her disappearance.
Police have appealed for information relating to the suspect's VW T3 Westfalia camper van, as well as the Jaguar XJR 6 car he is known to have owned.
Speaking after the new suspect was announced yesterday, Madeleine McCann's parents Gerry and Kate vowed they will never stop searching for answers to what happened to their daughter.
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In a statement, the McCanns said: "We welcome the appeal today regarding the disappearance of our daughter, Madeleine.
"We would like to thank the police forces involved for their continued efforts in the search for Madeleine.
"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."
Anyone with information about the two vehicles, or either of the phone numbers released by the police (+351 912 730 680 and +351 916 510 683) should contact their local force immediately.
DCI Mark Cranwell from Scotland Yard also appealed to the person who received the phone call from the suspect to come forward.
He said: "They're a key witness and we urge them to get in touch.
"Some people will know the man we're describing today... you may be aware of some of the things he's done.
"He may have confided in you about the disappearance of Madeleine.
"More than 13 years have passed and your loyalties may have changed.
"Now is the time to come forward."