The prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann may have left possible evidence at a second location in Germany, according to residents who rented allotments in Braunschweig, about 40 miles from a property that German police have been searching this week.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, police discovered a hidden cellar at an allotment connected to Christian Brueckner, a convicted pedophile currently incarcerated in Germany. Authorities recently named him a suspect in McCann’s 2007 disappearance after an investigation reportedly found that Brueckner, now 43, was in Praia de Luz, Portugal, at the same time McCann vanished from her hotel room at a resort there while her parents were dining with friends nearby.
Brueckner has not been yet charged in connection with McCann’s disappearance.
On Thursday, investigators were reportedly seen taking evidence away from the cellar they had discovered during a dig on the property near Hannover. The Daily Beast reported that a child’s toy bucket was among the items taken from the scene, but authorities have not publicly confirmed details of the search or disclosed any evidence found.
According to the Telegraph, Brueckner may have rented a second allotment, also with a hidden basement, many years later. Neighbors told the news outlet that the suspect sometimes lived on a garden allotment with a “blue-roofed cottage” in Braunschweig between 2013 and 2016.
The neighbors told the newspaper that they had contacted police two months ago that Brueckner had once had property there, but that police did not appear to investigate the tip.
“I spoke to the criminal police in Braunschweig and thought the next day they’d turn up with a huge police presence, but nobody came,” Karsten Richter told the Telegraph.
Ritcher’s sister Helga Krause said that Brueckner had dug a cellar at the property, but that the allotment management intervened. It is not clear from the report how far along the suspect had been in digging a cellar before management ordered him to stop.
In response to a request from the Telegraph, prosecutors reportedly said they could not comment on whether they had investigated the Braunschweig allotment in connected to Brueckner or McCann.
CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
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