12:43 GMT08 August 2020
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    Earlier this month British police said a German sex offender who is currently in jail has become the prime suspect for the murder of three-year-old Madeleine McCann, who vanished from a Portuguese holiday apartment 13 years ago. Detectives across Europe are now wondering if Christian Brueckner could be responsible for unsolved crimes.

    Police have reopened an investigation into the murder of a German teenager who was killed while on holiday on the Belgian coast in 1996.

    Belgian detectives believe there may be a link between 43-year-old Christian Brueckner - who is suspected of killing Madeleine McCann - and Carola Titze, 16.

    ​Carola was sexually assaulted and mutilated in July 1996 in the seaside town of De Haan, near Bruges.

    A spokesman for the public prosecutor's office told AFP on Thursday, 11 June, they are "indeed reopening the file relating to this murder."

    Carola, who lived in Germany, was on holiday with her parents when she was killed and the police at the time believed the killer may have been an unidentified German in his early 20s who was seen talking to her.

    The man had reportedly bragged to Carola about his criminal past, according to the Belgian media.

    Paul Gevaert, the retired investigator who led the investigation into Carola’s death, said he there was "certainly a connection to be made" with Brueckner.

    ​Brueckner, who lived in Portugal and elsewhere in Europe, has a history of sex offences, including child abuse and rape.

    In May 2007 Madeleine McCann went missing from her family's holiday apartment on Portugal’s Algarve coast as her parents dined with friends at a nearby tapas bar.

    Her disappearance sparked one of the biggest police investigations in European history.

    On Friday, 12 June, The Sun newspaper reported that Brueckner was often seen with elderly women at resorts in Portugal and there were rumours that he was a gigolo who would be paid for sex.

    sex offenders, Germany, Belgium, Portugal
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