13 years after Madeleine McCann went missing, investigators believe they have a credible suspect


Three-year-old Madeleine McCann vanished from her bed on vacation in 2007. Now, investigators believe they have a credible suspect who may know what happened to McCann. Peter Van Sant joins “CBS This Morning” with the investigation into this suspect on this week’s “48 Hours.”

Video Transcript

This week’s “48 Hours” investigates a new suspect in the disappearance of a child that made international headlines. Madeleine McCann was just three years old in 2007 when she vanished from her bed at a resort in Portugal while vacationing with her family. “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant looks at the German suspect, Christian Brueckner, and why authorities believe he may know what happened.

PETER VAN SANT: In May of 2007, British doctors Gerry and Kate McCann were on vacation with their children at a beach resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal. As they had done every night, the McCanns left their children asleep in their apartment and went to meet friends for dinner about 50 yards away. Jane Hills is a BBC News anchor who covered Madeleine’s story.

JANE HILL: And the friends would take turns and just check on their sleeping children.

PETER VAN SANT: At 10:00 PM, when it was Kate’s turn, she found this bed, Madeleine’s bed, empty.

KATE MCCANN: Please, please do not hurt her. Please don’t scare her. Please tell us where to find her.

Madeleine, Madeleine, Madeleine, Madeleine.

PETER VAN SANT: Despite a global media storm, a multi-national search and investigation, years passed with no answers until this past June.

A German prisoner has been identified as a new suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

PETER VAN SANT: German authorities in Braunschweig, Germany made this announcement.


INTERPRETER: The accused is a sex offender with several previous convictions.

PETER VAN SANT: The suspect’s name is Christian Brueckner.

MARK HOFFMAN: He absolutely matches the profile of a person who could potentially abduct and/or kill a little girl like Madeleine McCann.

PETER VAN SANT: Mark Hoffman is a Germany based crime and intelligence analyst.

MARK HOFFMAN: His cell phone was tracked next to the crime scene the night Maddie disappeared.

PETER VAN SANT: Jim Gamble, former head of the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center is hopeful this tragic case may finally be solved.

JIM GAMBLE: For the first time in 13 years, I have to say I actually felt here is a credible suspect.

PETER VAN SANT: And the big break in this case came in 2017, when Brueckner told in a drunken confession, he told a friend that he knew what had happened to Madeleine McCann.

Wow, Peter, thank you. Powerful story, hope there’s news there. And you can see Peter’s report, “The Puzzle Solving, the Madeleine McCann Case” on “48 Hours” tomorrow night at 10:00/9:00 Central right here on CBS.


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