Madeleine McCann suspect 'had face changing op after she went missing'

Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner ‘had face changing op months after toddler went missing’ – as it emerges prosecutors hope to charge him this year over her disappearance

  • Brueckner, convicted paedophile and rapist, made ‘official suspect’ last month
  • He had jaw reset and four ‘rabbit’ teeth repaired months after Maddie vanished
  • Suspect flew back to native Germany for £7,500 before returning to Portugal 
  • Maddie was snatched from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007

Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner had ‘a face-changing operation months after her disappearance’ – as it emerges prosecutors hope to charge him later this year over her disappearance.

Brueckner, a convicted paedophile and rapist, had his jaw reset and four ‘rabbit’ teeth straightened during a procedure at a private dental clinic in his native Germany, according to a television investigation.

The 45-year-old, who was made an ‘official suspect’ in connection with the toddler’s disappearance last month, is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for the rape of a 72-year-old woman.

The TV probe found he flew from Portugal, where Maddie vanished from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, back to Germany for the procedure – thought to have cost around £7,500.

German police also suspect Brueckner of a string of sex attacks in Portugal – among them an attack on a 10-year-old German girl on a beach just a month before, The Sun reports.

The victim in that attack, in April 2007, also told police that the attacker had ‘prominent, rabbit-like teeth’.

The girl, who MailOnline knows the identity of but can’t reveal, is now living in Germany and has a successful career but at the time of the attack was on holiday with her mother and brother.

In their statement they describe how a man grabbed the girl and pulled her to one side on the beach before committing a sex act on himself.

Madeleine, three, was sleeping in a bedroom alongside her brother and sister – twins – while parents Kate and Jerry ate dinner with friends in a nearby restaurant when she disappeared on the evening of May 3, 2007

Brueckner, a convicted paedophile and rapist, was named an official suspect in connection with her disappearance last month

The girl’s mother saw what was going on and rushed towards her daughter and the attacker – who was naked apart from a backpack and towel over his arm – fled. 

Two investigative film-makers, working with prosecutors, have also claimed a new witness said Brueckner knew the area ‘inside out’ after doing odd jobs at the holiday spot.

They believe he will be charged over Maddie’s disappearance and a sex attack on another girl later this year. 

In a letter obtained by MailOnline earlier this month, Brueckner – who has been given access to the files – accuses investigators of manipulating an image to give him more prominent teeth to resemble a sex attack suspect.

But it is understood he flew from Lisbon to Germany in September 2007 for the reconstructive surgery.

His teeth were reportedly fixed and his jaw reset at a clinic in Wuerzburg, Bavaria.

A man fitting the description was seen lurking around Maddie’s hotel multiple times on the night of her disappearance, but detectives say they tracked down the suspect and ruled him out of having any connection to the case.

Prosecutors in Germany hope to charge Brueckner with the attack later this month, as well as at least three other rape attacks and an indecent exposure in Portugal between 2004 and 2012.

It is understood that he may also face further charges related to the abduction and rape of an Irish tour rep and indecent exposure towards four children at a play park in the Algarve in 2017.

Madeleine went missing from this apartment in the resort of Praia da Luz, Portugal, while on holiday there with her family in 2007

Madeleine McCann’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, last month released a message to mark 15 years since their daughter’s disappearance

It comes as Hans Christian-Wolters, the prosecutor leading the case, insists they have ‘significant new evidence’ against Brueckner, but ‘not forensic evidence’ and are adamant he is the man responsible.

Prosecutors are said to be investigating the possibility Maddie was killed after being abducted and sold to a child trafficking gang.

A man who claims to have previously been friends with the suspect has also claimed he knew the apartments in the area ‘inside out’ after working for a technical service firm. 

But Brueckner has insisted he was having sex with woman in his camper van at time when three-year-old girl vanished, according to reports. 

He claims to have been stopped and photographed at a police roadblock after driving the woman to the airport at Faro, Portugal, for a flight home the next day.

The three-year-old was sleeping in a bedroom alongside her brother and sister – twins – while parents Kate and Jerry ate dinner with friends in a nearby restaurant on the evening of May 3.

Around 10pm, Kate went to check on the children as part of a rota system devised between the group and found Madeleine was missing.

The disappearance sparked a huge police operation that spanned Europe but failed to find any trace of the girl, and she remains missing to this day.

In 2020, police decided to name Brueckner as their suspect – an unusual move that they hoped would lead people to come forward and help with the investigation.

Brueckner is a convicted drug dealer with a history of sexual offences who is currently serving time in a German jail for the rape of an American pensioner at the Praia da Luz resort two years before Madeleine went missing.

Police say phone records show that Brueckner took a call in the area around Praia da Luz around two hours before Maddie went missing.

But they have so-far been unable to prove that Brueckner was the one who took Maddie, or say what exactly happened to her after she went missing.

Wolters says he believes she was killed in Portugal, but has not said how or where. 

How the disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann unfolded


May 3: Gerry and Kate McCann leave their three children, including Maddie, asleep in their hotel apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal. When they return, they find Maddie missing from her bed

May 4: A friend of the McCanns reports of seeing a man carrying a child away in the night

May 14: Robert Mural, a property developer who lives a few yards from the hotel, is made a suspect by Portuguese police

May 30: The McCanns meet the Pope in Rome in a bid to bring worldwide attention to the search

August 11: Police in Portugal acknowledge for the first time in the investigation that Maddie might be dead

September 7: Portuguese police make the McCanns official suspects in the disappearance. Two days later the family flies back to England


July 21: Portuguese police remove the McCanns and Mr Mural as official suspects as the case is shelved


May 1: A computer-generated image of what Maddie could look like two years after she disappeared is released by the McCanns 


May 12: A review into the disappearance is launched by Scotland Yard, following a plea from then-Home Secretary Theresa May 


April 25: After a year of reviewing the case, Scotland Yard announce they belief that Maddie could be alive and call on police in Portugal to reopen the case, but it falls on deaf ears amid ‘a lack of new evidence’ 


July 4: Scotland Yard opens new investigation and claim to have identified 38 ‘people of interest’

October 24: A review into the investigation is opened by Portuguese police and new lines of inquiry are discovered, forcing them to reopen the case


January 29: British officers arrive in Portugal as a detailed investigation takes place. During the year, several locations are searched, including an area of scrubland near the resort 


October 28: British police announce that team investigating Maddie’s disappearance is reduced from 29 officers to just four, as it is also revealed that the investigation has cost £10million  


March 11: Cash is once again pumped into keeping the investigation alive, with £85,000 granted to keep it running until September, when it is extended once again until April next year


March 27: The Home Office reveals it has allocated further funds to Operation Grange. The new fund is believed to be as large as £150,000  


April: Controversial new Netflix documentary re-examining Maddie’s kidnap is released

June 5: The Home Office gives the Metropolitan Police enough funding to investigate for another year

December 7: Paulo Pereira Cristovao, a long-time critic of Maddie’s parents, was convicted of participating in the planning of two violent break-ins at properties in Lisbon and the nearby resort of Cascais. He is jailed for seven and a half years


February 22: Scotland Yard detectives questioned a British expat about her German ex-boyfriend. Carol Hickman, 59, claims police entered her bar in Praia da Luz to ask questions about her former partner 

June 3: Police reveal that a 43-year-old German prisoner has been identified as a suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance.


April 21: Christian Brueckner, now 44, is made an ‘arguido’, a formal suspect, by Portuguese authorities.

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