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Madeleine McCann's parents share emotional 21st birthday message

<p>Madeleine McCann's parents have shared a heartbreaking message as they marked their daughter's 21st birthday. </p> <p>Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann posted the message on the official Find Maddie Campaign Facebook page, with a photo of Maddie in a pink dress and bucket hat - one of the last photos taken of her before she disappeared. </p> <p>"Happy 21st Birthday Madeleine. Still missing. Still missed. Still looking," they wrote. </p> <p>They added the word "hope" on the Facebook photo posted on the page where people regularly donate towards the search efforts to find the missing girl. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C62J1_lgEo3/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C62J1_lgEo3/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Official Find Madeleine Campaign (@officialfindmadeleine)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>It's been 17 years since Madeleine disappeared on May 3 2007, and earlier this month her parents shared another poignant message on the anniversary of her disappearance. </p> <p>"It's 17 years since Madeleine was taken from us," the message posted to social media read. </p> <p>"It's hard to even say that number without shaking our heads in disbelief."</p> <p>"Whilst we are fortunate in many ways and able to live a relatively normal and enjoyable life now, the 'living in limbo' is still very unsettling. And the absence still aches.</p> <p>"Your support continues to encourage us and bolsters our strength to keep going. We know the love and hope for Madeleine and the will to find her, even after so many years, remains, and we are truly thankful for that.</p> <p>"Thank you again for remembering Madeleine and all missing children."</p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

Family & Pets

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Major development in Madeleine McCann case

<p>In the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, German police have descended upon a property in Braunschweig, Germany, in search of a key associate of Christian Brueckner, the prime suspect in the case.</p> <p>The urgency of the search stems from the belief that this individual may possess crucial information regarding the fate of the missing girl.</p> <p>The focus of this operation was a residence linked to a 56-year-old man identified only as Ralph H. According to reports from <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/26665050/hunt-madeleine-mccann-christian-b-pal/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>The Sun</em></a>, Ralph H. is a long-time friend of Brueckner, suspected of being involved in criminal activities alongside him, including home robberies.</p> <p>The property, located just outside Braunschweig, was surrounded by armed officers – however, the operation hit a roadblock as police were unable to enter the premises due to the absence of a search warrant. </p> <p>The urgency surrounding Ralph H. is palpable, with authorities stressing the need to speak with him promptly. “We must find him to ask him about missing Madeleine McCann,” said a<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> detective from Germany’s federal investigative agency, the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA). </span>“He’s not at home, he doesn’t answer the phone, he’s apparently disappeared.”</p> <p>Neighbours of Ralph H. corroborated reports of his absence: “They surrounded his home and shouted out his name but with no luck,” one said. “The officers later asked me if I had any idea where Ralph could be. It was about midday and I thought he was out working. But it turns out he hasn’t been seen for nearly a week now.” </p> <p>Meanwhile, Christian Brueckner, the main suspect in Madeleine McCann's disappearance, is embroiled in a separate legal battle. Currently facing trial for unrelated sexual offences, Brueckner's defence has maintained his silence, refusing to respond to the charges against him. Despite his denial of involvement in Madeleine's case, suspicions loom large, given his proximity to the scene of her disappearance and his criminal history.</p> <p>As the investigation unfolds, the spotlight remains on individuals like Ralph H. and Brueckner, whose connections and actions may hold the key to unraveling the mystery that has gripped the world for nearly two decades.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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The secret witness who could be the key to the Madeleine McCann case

<p>A secret witness to a disturbing comment made by the main suspect in the Madeleine McCann case could be the key to seeing him charged. </p> <p>Madeleine McCann was three years old when she went missing on a family trip to Portugal in 2007, and has not been seen since. </p> <p>Christian Brueckner, a convicted rapist and paedophile, has long been named the prime suspect in Maddie's abduction, and is set to stand trial on Friday for a series of charges, none of while relate to the McCann case. </p> <p>Now, almost seventeen years since her disappearance, a secret witness has come forward about a disturbing comment Brueckner a year after Maddie's abduction. </p> <p>Helge Busching, a former friend of Brueckner, has revealed a chilling conversation he had with his former friend after they ran into each other at a music festival. </p> <p>Busching, who is currently in police protection, claims Brueckner told him Madeleine was taken without anyone noticing because she didn't make a sound. </p> <p>"He said she didn't scream. 'She didn't scream', that is what Brueckner said and then I looked at Mr Brueckner and thought 'what are you telling me now?'" said Busching on <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/60-minutes/the-secret-witness-who-could-break-open-the-madeleine-mccann-case/3a383ca7-758a-4b46-a288-8f911ee942e5" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>60 Minutes</em></a>. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3NDFgEPudr/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3NDFgEPudr/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by 60 Minutes Australia (@60minutes9)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>In the wake of Busching's comments, the police prosecutor in Brueckner's case remains adamant he is behind the high-profile disappearance of Maddie. </p> <p>"We have evidence and we come to the conclusion that Madeleine McCann is dead and Christian B murdered her," says Hans Christian Wolters.  </p> <p>With the 46-year-old currently in jail and facing convictions for several counts of rape and sexual assault, Wolters has the luxury of time to pursue all leads, no matter how small, to build a watertight case against the suspect. </p> <p>He said, "We have only one chance and we want to go to court with the best result we could get. So we decided to investigate as much as we can and if it takes much more time than normal investigations, it's the price for the best result."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / 60 Minutes</em></p>

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Women's football star dies at 27

<p>Sheffield United star Maddy Cusack has passed away at the age of 27. </p> <p>The club broke the news about the sudden death of the midfielder, but did not disclose any information about her cause of death. </p> <p>“Sheffield United Football Club is devastated to report the sad news of the passing of Maddy Cusack," the club said in a statement. </p> <p>“Maddy, a women’s team player since 2019 and marketing executive for the football club, passed away on Wednesday."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Sheffield United Football Club is devastated to report the sad news of the passing of Maddy Cusack.</p> <p>The Club and Maddy’s family would appreciate a period of privacy and will not comment further at this sad time.</p> <p>— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) <a href="https://twitter.com/SheffieldUnited/status/1704889740636336480?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 21, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>“This is heartbreaking news for everyone at Bramall Lane," chief executive Stephen Bettis said.</p> <p>“Maddy had a unique position of being part of a number of teams at Sheffield United and was popular with everyone that she came into contact with."</p> <p>“Her personality and professionalism made her a credit to her family — she will be sadly missed."</p> <p>Cusack, a former England youth international player, signed a contract extension with the club in July.</p> <p>She was named as United's vice-captain last month and had just started her sixth season with the team in the second-tier Women’s Championship, making her the longest-serving player in the current squad.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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BBC star passes away at just 35

<p>Maddy Anholt, a well-known figure from the BBC, has passed away at the age of 35, as confirmed by her family. Maddy, who was not only a television star but also an advocate for charitable causes, succumbed to a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer.</p> <p>This heartbreaking news comes on the heels of the birth of her daughter, Opal, just last year. In a heartfelt statement shared on <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/maddy-anholt" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe</a>, Maddy's family expressed their deep sorrow:</p> <p>"It is with profound sorrow that we announce the death of Maddy Anholt, our beloved daughter, sister, twin, friend, wife and mother, who left this world on Wednesday 13th September, aged 35. </p> <p>"You may know that shortly after the birth of her incredible daughter Opal last year, Maddy was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer. She handled the ensuing surgery and treatment with astonishing grace and courage, accompanied every step of the way by her family and devoted husband, Ben. She spent her final weeks at her parents’ home, bathed in love and calm, and with the sounds of nature all around.</p> <p>"In her short life, Maddy accomplished so much. She was a marathon-runner, author, speaker, actor and Ambassador for Women’s Aid. Her debut book was published in 2022 and her first fiction will be published soon. As an actor, she appeared in sitcoms for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, while as a speaker she led numerous masterclasses, including for the <em>Guardian</em>.</p> <p>"We are overwhelmed with gratitude to the many friends who have upheld us with their love and prayers during this difficult time, as well as the countless nurses, doctors and the NHS as a whole, who treated her with unfailing dignity and compassion. In particular we would like to thank the magnificent team at Seaton Hospice at Home, who are the embodiment of empathy, professionalism and love.</p> <p>"We ask you not to send flowers but if you feel moved to make a small donation, this fundraiser has been set up to provide for Maddy’s one-year-old daughter, Opal.</p> <p>"Alternatively, you might consider a contribution to Maddy’s favourite charity, Women’s Aid. Maddy was a powerful advocate for women’s rights and on publication of her debut book, she was invited to become an Ambassador for Women’s Aid, which she carried out with characteristic energy and humour:  <a href="https://www.womensaid.org.uk/get-involved/give/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">www.womensaid.org.uk/give</a>.</p> <p>"Wherever you are, please join us at 6pm BST on Saturday 16th September, to light a candle. Pray, meditate and hold our precious Maddy in your hearts as she returns to the stars."</p> <p>In addition to her television work with BBC Three, BBC One, ITV, and Channel 4, Maddy Anholt was also an ambassador for Women's Aid. Last year, she authored a book titled <em>How to Leave Your Psychopath: The Essential Handbook for Escaping Toxic Relationships</em>, sharing her own experiences in an abusive relationship.</p> <p>The chief executive of Women's Aid, Farah Nazeer, expressed the organisation's deep sadness at the loss of their esteemed ambassador.</p> <p>Maddy Anholt spent her final moments at her family's home in Devon, surrounded by loved ones.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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New Maddie McCann theory has "electrified" investigators

<p>An important witness in the Madeleine McCann case has shared a valuable piece of information which has has "electrified" investigators, as the search for the missing child continues. </p> <p>The witness claims that Christian Brueckner, the prime suspect in Maddie's disappearance, had a burglary tool kit that could unlock any security door, and boasted to friends about his lock picking skills. </p> <p>This new theory has raised fresh doubts over the official theory that ­Maddie’s kidnapper clambered in through a window of holiday apartment 5a in Praia da Luz when she was abducted. </p> <p>German police are said to be “electrified” by discovery, and are also probing the possibility that Christian B used car paint solvent to sedate Maddie.</p> <p>In an exclusive interview from a secret location, Helge B – now in German police witness protection – told filmmaker Jutta Rabe for <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/22893975/madeleine-mccann-suspect-christian-b-lock-pick-kit/"><em>The Sun on Sunday</em>,</a> “He came through the door”.</p> <p>Helge B, 52, who met his fellow German a year before Maddie vanished aged three, said he found the kit at Christian B’s Algarve home.</p> <p>The petty criminal had decided to ransack it with another friend after learning Christian B was serving time for theft.</p> <p>He said, “I knew from Christian that he uses tools to break into holiday resorts, hotels and holiday homes to steal from tourists."</p> <p>“There were passports on the table. There was all sorts of stuff lying around – cameras, suitcases, everything that tourists have with them. I also found a lock pick set.”</p> <p>Helge B, who kept the kit and told German police about it, added, “You can use it to pick any lock, including security locks.”</p> <p>Despite police long believing Maddie's abductor had snuck in through the window, when asked how Christian B might've entered the hotel room, Helge simply said, “Through the door. Easily. He can open any door”.</p> <p>Upon the discovery of the new evidence, a police source said, “The German detectives were electrified by the discovery of the tool kit with the lock picks in it. This evidence is now very important to them."</p> <p>“It confirmed a suspicion that they’d had for a long time – that Christian B entered the apartment through the door.”</p> <p>German prosecutors hope to use the lock picks evidence to nail Christian B, who is in jail for drugs crimes and appealing a seven-year sentence for raping a woman of 72.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Fresh location being searched in Maddy McCann case

<p>Portuguese police have revealed they will resume the search for missing toddler Madeleine McCann who disappeared in the country’s Algarve region in 2007.</p> <p>Portugal’s Judicial police released a statement confirming local media reports that they would conduct the search at the request of the German authorities and in the presence of British officials.</p> <p>A spokesperson from the fire brigade said police were preparing to start searches at a dam in the southern region of Algarve about 50km inland from a beach resort where Madeleine disappeared from a rented apartment while on a family holiday.</p> <p>On May 22, Reuters TV footage showed police erecting tents and cordons in the area by the Arade dam, roughly 50km from Praia da Luza, where the three-year-old was last seen alive.</p> <p>Portugal’s investigative Judicial Police overseeing the operation declined to comment.</p> <p>Another source familiar with the investigation was not confident there would be a breakthrough, saying, “It will come to nothing”.</p> <p>In mid-2020, German police jailed German citizen Christian Brueckner, a 45-year-old convicted child abuser and drug dealer who was in the Algarve in 2007, for raping a 72-year-old woman in the same area of the Algarve where Madeleine went missing. He was identified as a suspect in Madeline’s disappearance but has denied any involvement.</p> <p>Brueckner remains under investigation on suspicion of murder in the McCann case but hasn’t been charged.</p> <p>German police said in June 2020 that Madeleine was assumed dead and that Brueckner was likely responsible for it.</p> <p>In April, a German court dismissed additional charges against him related to other Portuguese child rape and sexual assault cases that led to German prosecutors no longer having jurisdiction to investigate the McCann case.</p> <p>Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann were questioned by Portuguese police as formal suspects in 2007 but ruled them out the following year due to lack of evidence that cleared them of any involvement.</p> <p>The parents continue to campaign to attract attention to their daughter’s disappearance, and British public figures from business tycoons to authors and soccer stars have made appeals for information.</p> <p>Rewards for finding Madeleine have reached several million dollars.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty</em></p>

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Madeleine McCann’s younger sister breaks her silence

<p>Amelie McCann has spoken out for the first time, 16 years after her sister Madeleine McCann went missing on a family holiday in Portugal in 2007.</p> <p>The 18-year-old spoke at a vigil in the British family’s home village of Rothley in Leicestershire, marking the anniversary of Madeleine’s tragic disappearance.</p> <p>Madeline, aged three, disappeared in May 2007 when she and her siblings had been left asleep in the family’s hotel room while their parents and a group of friends had dinner at a nearby restaurant.</p> <p>Amelie and her twin brother Sean were two years old at the time.</p> <p>Amelie, now 18, was joined by her parents at the vigil, but Sean did not make an appearance.</p> <p>“It’s nice that everyone is here together but it’s a sad occasion,” she said as she lit a candle for her sister and other missing children.</p> <p>According to the Daily Mail, Fiona Payne, a friend of the family who joined them on the 2007 Portugal holiday, was also present at the vigil.</p> <p>Kate and Gerry McCann also <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/maddy-mccann-s-parents-heart-wrenching-post-on-16-year-anniversary" target="_blank" rel="noopener">posted a statement</a> on the Find Madeline website, marking the 16th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance.</p> <p>The police investigation is still ongoing.</p> <p>The anniversary comes two weeks after a German court declined to hear a sex offences case against a German man who is a suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance.</p> <p>Christian Brueckner is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence in Germany for a rape he committed in Portugal in 2005.</p> <p>The new charges relate to a string of separate cases involving sexual offences allegedly committed in Portugal between 2000 and 2017.</p> <p>Braunschweig state court denied responsibility for new charges against Brueckner due to evidence regarding his last known address in Germany.</p> <p>Brueckner’s last known German residence before moving to Portugal has been disputed, and the Braunschweig state court ruled there is evidence of an address in the neighbouring state of Saxony-Anhal.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty/Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Maddy McCann's parents' heart-wrenching post on 16-year anniversary

<p>Madeleine McCann's parents have released an emotional statement on the 16-year anniversary of when their daughter was abducted. </p> <p>Kate and Gerry McCann shared that they are still hoping for a breakthrough in the search for their daughter, who would now be 19 years old. </p> <p>Maddie vanished from her family’s holiday apartment in Portugal in May 2007 at the age of three and has not been seen since.</p> <p>The grieving parents shared that even after 16 difficult years, they struggle to put their heartbreak into words. </p> <p>Writing on the official Find Madeleine Instagram Page, Kate and Gerry posted an emotional poem called <em>The Contradiction</em> by Clare Pollard before thanking people for their support.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Crwok6gLHau/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Crwok6gLHau/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Official Find Madeleine Campaign (@officialfindmadeleine)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“The police investigation continues, and we await a breakthrough.” the post read. “Today marks the 16th anniversary of Madeleine’s abduction."</p> <p>“Still missing …… still very much missed."</p> <p>“It is hard to find the words to convey how we feel.”</p> <p>They added that the poem <em>The Contradiction</em> “resonates strongly with us”.</p> <p>The heart-wrenching poem reads, “You are not here, I’m not myself, but still I talk to you like this."</p> <p>“I cannot hold you, yet I do: please let me hold you in my head and where you are now, hold me too."</p> <p>After posting the poem, the couple wrote, “Thank you to everyone for your support – it really helps.”</p> <p>The post was flooded was comments of support, with one person writing, "We are so many who are with you, and who hope with all our hearts that she will be reunited with you. Please let this year be the year you'll get the answers you need."</p> <p>Another put it simply, "I hope she finds her way home to you."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Family & Pets

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"I am not a monster": Disturbing reason police have seized phone of woman claiming to be Madeleine McCann

<p>Polish woman Julia Faustyna who went viral over <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/woman-shares-evidence-that-she-is-madeleine-mccann" target="_blank" rel="noopener">claims she could be Madeleine McCann </a>has had her phone seized by US police over claims it contains explicit images of children.</p> <p>The phone was given to authorities by a former spokesperson for Faustyna and psychic private investigator Fia Johansson.</p> <p>The phone was reportedly left with Johansson when she brought Faustyna, 21, to the US for <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/julia-faustyna-takes-dna-test-to-prove-wild-identity-claims" target="_blank" rel="noopener">DNA and family ancestry test results</a> over her claiming to be the missing toddler.</p> <p>The results confirmed that Faustyna was “absolutely, 100 per cent from Poland".</p> <p>Johansson handed the phone over to police during a search and seizure as part of an investigation, but the reason behind what prompted the pursuit remains unknown, according to the <em>New York Post</em>.</p> <p>Wroclaw police in Poland were contacted by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and were informed that they were in possession of a phone thought to belong to Faustyna, according to a <em>RadarOnline.com</em> report.</p> <p>“Our investigation is taking a deep look into it and we’re going to let them do their investigative duties and then from that point let the judicial system take over – if it needs to,” department spokesman Sergeant Mike Woodroof said.</p> <p>Johansson reportedly added, “I’m told an investigator from the Sheriff’s Department is personally taking the device to Poland to make sure it doesn’t get lost or misplaced.”</p> <p>She also shared an image of a denied release of case information form from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department on social media, including a statement regarding the investigation.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CrJh_DVvl3i/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CrJh_DVvl3i/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Dr. Fia Johansson (@persianmedium)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“There will be no comment or discussion at this time or moving forward concerning the active ongoing investigation with Orange County Sheriff’s Department and special public affairs division due to protocol and the sensitivity and nature of the intelligence that has been gathered and rendered,” she said.</p> <p>“It’s an active investigation and DA will not comment out of concern for the safety of the victims.”</p> <p>After Faustyna received her DNA test results and appeared on Dr Phil, Johannson revealed she travelled back to Poland to live with her father.</p> <p>The DNA results prompted <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/madeleine-mccann-s-parents-speak-out-after-dna-test-results" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Madeleine McCann’s parents to break their silence</a> after months of emotional turmoil.</p> <p>Faustyna now denies all the allegations against her to reporters.</p> <p>“I didn’t have child pornography on my phone. I am not a paedo and I never tried to encourage any teenagers to do anything illegal and bad and disgusting,” she told <em>The Sun</em>.</p> <p>“Just think carefully, if someone is a paedo, I believe this person would never go by himself to a police station or this person would never talk about what I was talking in public to the whole world because it would be very dangerous for this person.</p> <p>“It is not logical ... I am saying the truth and I will make my name clean because I am not a monster.”</p> <p>She told <em>The Sun</em> she had purchased the phone from an unknown person, saying that if there were explicit images on her phone they were put there by someone else.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Instagram</em></p>

Legal

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Madeleine McCann's parents speak out after DNA test results

<p>Madeleine McCann's parents have spoken out after the results of Julia Faustyna's DNA test have returned. </p> <p>Julia Faustyna, a 21-year-old Polish woman, has been claiming to be the missing British child in a high-profile campaign that has seen her undergo a DNA test to prove her identity.</p> <p>The DNA results determined that Julia is not Maddie, despite Julia's claims of having similar facial features, suffering an abusive childhood and had starting to question her parentage as a result. </p> <p>Private detective Dr Fia Johansson arranged for Julia to give samples in the US for extensive DNA tests - including a DNA test similar to a 23andMe test, which established she is not Madeleine.</p> <p>The test looked into her heritage, and showed that she is from Poland, with some Lithuanian and Romanian heritage, <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/21808585/who-julia-wendell-madeleine-mccann/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>The Sun</em></a> reported, but nothing to suggest any link to the McCann's. </p> <p>In response, a spokesman for Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann said, “There isn’t anything to report at this time. If and when there is, it will come from The Metropolitan Police.”</p> <p>Julia is also facing a nervous wait for the results of further health tests as doctors fear she <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/sad-health-news-for-woman-claiming-to-be-madeleine-mccann" target="_blank" rel="noopener">may have leukaemia</a>, Dr Johansson - with Julia’s permission - revealed to <em>The Sun</em>.</p> <p>She said, “Her health is very poor she has bad asthma and she suffers lots of pain in her bones."</p> <p>“She is booked in for a CT and MRI scan because of the pain in her bones."</p> <p>“Her blood work is also abnormal so my doctor here in the US is investigating whether she could have leukaemia so we are awaiting the results of that."</p> <p>“And if she needs any treatment we will make sure she gets that.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

News

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Sad health news for woman claiming to be Madeleine McCann

<p>The Polish woman claiming to be Madeleine McCann has been dealt a devastating blow, while in the middle of an investigation to prove her identity. </p> <p>Julia Faustyna has been subject to a number of medical tests, such as DNA testing, MRIs and CT scans, which have unearthed a problem bigger than Julia's seemingly unknown heritage. </p> <p>The 21-year-old may be battling cancer, her spokeswoman has revealed, and she is awaiting test results back over fears she has leukaemia.</p> <p>“We are still waiting on the result of DNA testing that will show us exactly what Julia’s ethnic background is and what country she and her true family are from. These kinds of tests are very accurate,” Ms Wendell’s representative and private detective Dr Fia Johansson told <em><a title="www.thesun.co.uk" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/21719616/girl-madeleine-mccann-dna-ancestry-cancer/">The Sun</a></em>.</p> <p>“Of course depending on the result of that we will continue our investigation to see if Julia is could be Madeleine or another missing person."</p> <p>“But now the focus is on Julia as a person - not Madeleine."</p> <p>“She has had a neglected childhood and suffered much abuse."</p> <p>“Her health is very poor she has bad asthma and she suffers lots of pain in her bones... and she is booked in for another CT and MRI scan."</p> <p>“Her blood work is also abnormal so my doctor here in the US is investigating whether she could have leukaemia so we are awaiting the results of that. And if she needs any treatment we will make sure she gets that.”</p> <p>Julia has submitted samples for three different forensic examinations that will outline her DNA sequence, along with a genetic test to establish her ancestry. </p> <p>If Ms Faustyna's ancestry comes from the same region as Madeleine’s parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, Dr Johansson said she will immediately send the DNA sequence to Portuguese investigators for comparison.</p> <p>The news of Julia's deteriorating health comes just weeks after she was forced to <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/woman-claiming-to-be-madeleine-mccann-flees-home-country-amid-death-threats" target="_blank" rel="noopener">flee</a> her home country of Poland and relocate to the US after receiving countless death threats over her claims. </p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji'; background-color: #ffffff;">Dr <span style="caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif; font-size: medium;">Johansson</span> said Ms Faustyna felt “terrified” after receiving threats and vile messages from online haters, with one death threat even putting a $48,000 bounty on her head.</span></p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram / Getty Images</em></p>

News

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The case of missing Madeleine McCann still grips the world – but why?

<p>Madeleine McCann, the British girl who vanished as a three-year-old from her family’s holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007, was back in the news recently as yet another person <a href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/polish-police-reportedly-dispute-womans-claims-she-is-missing-british-girl-madeline-mccann/news-story/d5d789567c18f32973163d2419cbdf77">claimed to be her</a>. It’s a phenomenon fuelled by social media - in 2020 a TikTok trend emerged in which women uploaded images to compare themselves to Madeleine.</p> <p>The latest claim was quickly debunked by police, but it raises an interesting question: why do some cases stick in the public consciousness? What generates the ongoing engagement and interest?</p> <p>Put this into the context that two people under the age of 18 go missing every hour in Australia. That’s <a href="https://www.afp.gov.au/what-we-do/campaigns/international-missing-childrens-day-campaign">48 every single day</a>.</p> <p>In the United Kingdom, of the 353,000 missing person incidents <a href="https://www.missingpeople.org.uk/for-professionals/policy-and-research/information-and-research/key-information">reported annually</a>, almost 215,000 relate to children. Of these, 98% will be found within 2 days, while the other 2% will remain missing for more than a week – and, as in Madeleine’s case, some will stay missing for years.</p> <h2>The case of Madeleine McCann</h2> <p>I was living in the UK when Madeleine was abducted, and remember vividly the photos of her, and the constant live news coverage from the scene. </p> <p>And I remember the interviews with Madeleine’s parents. I was working in a forensic centre, and I can recall conversations with criminal psychologists and forensic practitioners about the parents – we were all of the same mind. They were behaving exactly as parents would if their child had been abducted. Their body language, verbal cues, everything said they were telling the truth.</p> <p>But their innocence was not accepted by everybody, and some people were suspicious because of the parents’ apparent determination to stay in the spotlight. For me, the reason was clear – keeping Madeleine on page 1, at the beginning of every news bulletin, constantly in the public eye and on the public’s mind, was their best chance of getting her back. They were trying to use the world’s media to help find their daughter.</p> <p>Sadly, it failed, and we still don’t know what happened to Madeleine, or why, and ultimately who is responsible.</p> <p>But it was that media strategy, fuelled by the parents’ intelligence, perseverance and strength, that made Madeleine a worldwide story. Add to that the pictures of Madeleine constantly circulated in the media, an innocent, angelic, blonde-haired child, and she has become part of the world’s collective conscience.</p> <p>Madeleine is what social scientists would call an “<a href="https://academic.oup.com/ejil/article/29/3/703/5165646">ideal victim</a>”, a term coined by criminologist Nils Christie as “a person or category of individuals who, when hit by crime, most readily are given the complete and legitimate status of being a victim”.</p> <p>Once her face was implanted on our public consciousness, the story played into every parent’s worst nightmare: their child being taken by a predator, without leaving a trace, and never seen again.</p> <h2>Madeleine McCann and the ideal victim</h2> <p>It wasn’t that the circumstances around Madeleine’s disappearance were different to others, but the family that changed the script by how they responded. That’s why the whole world knows her name. </p> <p>The term “ideal victim” can be a little confronting, and criminologists are not saying they are a good choice – but rather that the victim wasn’t engaging in any risky behaviour, they weren’t involved in any criminal activity, they were in essence totally blameless for what happened to them. </p> <p>This is complicated framing, as people’s unconscious and conscious bias plays into how we judge a victim’s culpability, and ultimately how much we care about them as a victim or survivor. </p> <p>I’ve spoken about this “weighing of human worth” and our associated interest in some cases over others before. In an <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-gabby-petito-case-has-been-exploited-by-the-media-we-need-to-stop-treating-human-tragedy-as-entertainment-168562">earlier piece for The Conversation</a> , I discussed the notion of “White women’s syndrome” and why there is always more media and public interest when a young, attractive, Caucasian female vanishes, when compared to a woman of colour for example. </p> <p>I used the media storm around Gabby Petito to illustrate this: Gabby was another “ideal victim” - young, innocent, vulnerable, and the target of an abusive, controlling man.</p> <p>But how has that level of public attention on the case, dissection almost, expressed itself? Well, if you type ‘Madeleine McCann’ into a Google search, you will return around 26,200,000 hits. </p> <p>Channel 9 created a podcast, which releases new episodes every time there is a “breakthrough”. Dozens of other podcast series have produced episodes on the case.</p> <h2>A comparable Australian story</h2> <p>William Tyrrell is Australia’s Madeleine. William was also three years old when he vanished from his step-grandmother’s home in New South Wales in 2014. Like Madeleine, he vanished without a trace, and there were images of William available in the media, showing a gorgeous little boy, the very picture of innocence.</p> <p>Who can forget the little boy in the Spider-Man suit? Another ideal victim, and one the media – and the public – took to their hearts.</p> <p>But not all children get the same attention. Do you know the name of <a href="http://www.australianmissingpersonsregister.com/BradPholi.htm">Bradford Pholi</a>, a ten-year-old Indigenous boy who disappeared after leaving his family home in Sydney on Boxing Day in 1982? </p> <p>It’s <a href="https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/can_you_help_us/rewards/100000_reward/20091216_reward_offered_to_solve_27_year_old_case_of_missing_boy_bradford_pholi">likely Bradford was murdered</a>, and a $100,000 reward was offered in 2009. While his siblings remain hopeful one day they will find out what happened to their brother, I doubt his face is one you will recognise. </p> <p>I have never seen it age-progressed to see what Bradford would look like now, as has been done for both Madeleine and William.</p> <p>Stories about First Nations children do not generate the same attention as that seen for white children, a sad truth and one that must be recognised and faced. Why are we less engaged with stories like Bradford’s? This is a question I wrestle with as a criminologist and as a person.</p> <h2>Madeleine’s disappearance changed missing children’s cases forever</h2> <p>One positive that can be taken away from Madeleine’s case is that the media strategy used by her parents has changed the ways families of missing children interact with the media. </p> <p>To gain interest and keep the search front and centre for the missing children, the family has to engage and face the media pack, as hard as that is under such an extremely stressful situation. They need to be the voice for their missing child.</p> <p>It worked in the case of <a href="https://theconversation.com/cleo-smith-has-been-gone-almost-a-week-why-missing-children-cases-grip-the-nation-170363">Cleo Smith</a>, the four-year-old who was abducted while camping with her mother and de facto father in regional Western Australia in 2021. Again, the world watched and breathed a collective sigh of relief when 18 days later Cleo was found.</p> <p>Sadly, the media strategy has not paid off, yet, in Madeleine’s case, but the world lives in hope that one day we will find out what happened to her.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-case-of-missing-madeleine-mccann-still-grips-the-world-but-why-200727" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Caring

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Woman claiming to be Madeleine McCann flees home country amid death threats

<p>A Polish woman claiming to be Madeleine McCann has fled her home country for the United States after being bombarded with death threats.</p> <p>Julia Faustyna left her homeland with California-based private detective and psychic medium Dr Fia Johansson, who is now working on the case and believes she could be the key to cracking it.</p> <p>Dr Johansson, who is renowned for working with police and private investigators to solve missing person cases around the world, said Ms Faustyna was no longer safe in Poland.</p> <p>She said Ms Faustyna felt “terrified” after receiving threats and vile messages from online haters, with one death threat even putting a $48,000 bounty on her head.</p> <p>Dr Johansson, who believes there are a lot of “unanswered questions” surrounding the mystery, flew to Poland to meet with Julia, but determined that she could not continue investigation amid the barrage of abuse online. </p> <p>The pair have now flown to the US, with Ms Faustyna, who has also been forced to close her viral Instagram account after claiming to be the missing British girl who disappeared at the age of three in Portugal in 2007, appearing in a post at LAX Airport.</p> <p>“I’m excited, thank you, Fia,” she said. “Never give up and believe in yourself dreams will come true.”</p> <p>Dr Johansson wrote, “Thanks for the extra protection; I love you USA. Welcome to USA Julia – the land of love and dreams.”</p> <p>In an interview with <em>The Sun</em>, Dr Johansson said her first priority was to keep Ms Faustyna safe.</p> <p>“The haters have been attacking Julia since she came forward,” she said. “The situation in Poland is she has nobody. Her family won’t talk to her."</p> <p>“Julia has never said, ‘I am Madeleine McCann.’ She has lots of questions about her past and she asked for help. We are open to all possibilities.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram</em></p>

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Julia Faustyna takes DNA test to prove wild identity claims

<p>Julia Faustyna, the Polish woman who is convinced she is the missing Madeleine McCann, has reportedly taken a DNA test to prove her claim.</p> <p>However, in a stunning twist to the tale, Faustyna’s private investigation with spokesperson Dr Fia Johansson has led the young woman to consider the possibility that she may actually be another missing child - Livia Schepp, who went missing with her twin sister in Switzerland in 2011. </p> <p>“I’ve spoken to her about this and she is open to the fact she could be any missing child out there,” Dr Johansson said while speaking to <em>The Sun</em>. “Not just Madeleine. Julia wants to know the truth about who she is.” </p> <p>While Faustyna’s main argument has involved the physical similarities between herself and Madeleine McCann, one of the pivotal points in her story is how she recognised a suspect from McCann’s case - a man she has named as her own abuser. </p> <p>“One of the reasons she made the connection to Madeleine is because one of the suspects in Madeleine’s case looks very much like a man who she says abused her as a child,” Dr Johansson explained. “But the same man could be connected to Madeleine and other missing children, this is how predators and traffickers work.”</p> <p>“Julia has taken a DNA test,” she confirmed, “and we are investigating if it’s possible to check her DNA with that of [the] missing Livia. We are investigating all possibilities at this stage.” </p> <p>Livia Schepp - and her twin sister Alessia - went missing when they were six, after their father abducted them from Switzerland in 2011. Days later, he took his own life in Italy, and when police discovered the body, the twins were nowhere to be seen. </p> <p>Faustyna, who claims to have post-traumatic amnesia due to sexual abuse in her childhood, lacks clear recollection of her formative years, and has stated while she can recall holidays, she doesn’t “recall my mother being there, for example, or my stepfather, much less my dad.”</p> <p>Whether or not any of Faustyna’s theories are true, the public will have to keep speculating, as no results have yet been shared. </p> <p>However, Faustyna’s viral “@iammadeleinemccan”, where she was sharing updates and side-by-side comparisons with her followers, has since been deleted from the platform. </p> <p>The removal coincides with reports of the DNA test, and after Faustyna closed both her Facebook and Tiktok accounts, disputing her parent’s claim that she was only in this for attention when she said “if you don’t like me, please unfollow. I don’t want fans or followers.”</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram, Twitter</em></p>

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“We are devastated”: Family break silence over daughter’s intense Madeleine McCann claims

<p>Julia Wendell’s story has been all over the internet in the past week, with one question on the tip of everyone’s tongue: is she telling the truth? </p> <p>Julia, a 21-year-old from Poland, is convinced that she is the missing Madeleine McCann, who would only now be 19. </p> <p>While highlighting the similarities between the two girls, Julia has also declared that she has been unable to source photographs from her childhood, and her own birth certificate. It has also been widely reported that Julia’s parents, who have denied her claims, have refused to partake in a DNA test. </p> <p>“For us as a family,” they said in a statement to a Polish missing persons website, “it is obvious that Julia is our daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin, and step niece.</p> <p>“We have memories, we have pictures. Julia also has these photos, because she took them from the family home with the birth certificate, as well as numerous hospital discharges.”</p> <p>They spoke of how they tried to “get [Julia] back on her feet” after she left the family home, and opened up about how she sought fame when she was younger, with her eye on becoming something like a singer or a model. </p> <p>“What’s happening now is she has got 1 million followers,” her family said. “The internet won’t forget, and it’s obvious that Julia isn’t Maddie. We are devastated at this current situation.”</p> <p>At this time, neither London’s Metropolitan Police nor the Find Madeleine campaign have issued statements about Julia’s claim. However, they have previously provided updates on other potential leads, suggesting that they don’t put much stock into Julia.</p> <p>Regardless, the Polish woman is pressing forward, with reports that she intends to go to court over DNA testing with her parents. </p> <p>Dr Fia Johansson - who has been acting as Julia’s representative in a series of Instagram videos, and is a psychic medium and private investigator - announced the move. </p> <p>As Dr Johansson told <em>7News</em>, “when I’m talking to her … she’s crying and saying ‘I just need to understand the truth, all I want is for my mum and dad to do the DNA test with me’.</p> <p>“But basically her father said, ‘no, we are not going to’.”</p> <p>She went on to explain that if her parents were going to refuse, then they would be forced to take legal action. And while speaking to <em>The Sun</em>, despite the media frenzy Julia has sparked across the globe, Dr Johansson claimed they want to “be very respectful” in their approach. </p> <p>“We want to be very respectful to the McCann family, and respect the privacy of them and their kids while we don’t know exactly who Julia is.</p> <p>“My feeling is that we need to force the mother, or a member of Julia’s family, to take the DNA test rather than disrupt the peace of Kate and Garry, which is not necessary.</p> <p>“If a current family member will take a DNA test we could solve this, but they are refusing to.</p> <p>“I have been personally talking to Julia’s mother and told her we will make her safe and secure in any way she needs, but she is still refusing to take the test. She claims she has Julia’s birth certificate, but our worry is that you can easily forge this.”</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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New update derails Madeleine McCann claim

<p>Polish woman Julia Faustyna, also known online as Julia Wendell and Julia Wandelt, took the internet by storm this week with <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/woman-shares-evidence-that-she-is-madeleine-mccann" target="_blank" rel="noopener">her claims to be the missing Madeleine McCann</a>. </p> <p>“I think I can be Madeleine,” Julia initially wrote in a post on Facebook, where she hoped to gain the attention of the authorities and secure a DNA test to prove her theories. </p> <p>Julia noted the similarities in their appearances as her most compelling piece of evidence, particularly their eye defects - though Julia said in the post that hers had “faded more and more every year.”</p> <p>She also spoke of a conversation she’d had with her kindergarten teacher, explaining how she had “been in kindergarten since my last group, from September 2007 to July 2008” but that she was told by her family that she was “there all kindergarten.”</p> <p><iframe style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fyavassa01%2Fposts%2Fpfbid0KLozoKa5Lu7dosr5Twkc2erHSR2JV5sQ2Tuz4hxqDc8gT95bm3qrpKWCzQPpsbi7l&show_text=true&width=500" width="500" height="670" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>On her Instagram account, Julia has been providing her audience with updates, pleas for help, and further “evidence” to support her claims. Most notably, she has referenced those absences from her childhood, noting that she has “asked for pictures of when my mum was pregnant with me, other medical records and any pictures from my childhood and she never shows them, she just always tells me I’m crazy.” </p> <p>This claim, that she has been unable to secure pictures from her childhood, has been blown open by none other than Julia’s own grandmother. </p> <p>In a video uploaded to her account, a distraught Julia shared that she had received a phone call from her grandmother.</p> <p>“She said that I’m a very bad person,” she said, “that she doesn’t want to meet me anymore. She started to shout at me.</p> <p>“I asked her for a DNA test with her or with my parents and she will not take a DNA test with me and I can’t say she has to do it.”</p> <p>In another story, uploaded the same day, Julia shared a baby picture from her grandmother - one that she has trouble accepting as legitimate. </p> <p>“She sent me two pics,” Julia captioned the picture. “but, well, I don’t see faces clearly.”</p> <p>Julia went on to explain that she had asked for a DNA test but that her grandmother was unsure that Julia’s parents would agree to the test. Later, she stated that it was because “they don’t agree.”</p> <p>In a conversation with a fellow social media personality, Julia also spoke of her family’s belief that she is “horrible” giving “hope to the McCanns”. That same user noted that Julia’s family were “concerning” for refusing to give her the information she requires. </p> <p>Although Julia has claimed numerous times that she isn’t doing any of it for fame, many around the world remain skeptical. And with no firm evidence to back her, that doesn’t look likely to change. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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Woman shares "evidence" that she is Madeleine McCann

<p>A young woman from Poland has shared "evidence" to support her claims that she is Madeleine McCann. </p> <p>Julia Wendell went viral after starting an Instagram account named @iammadeleinemcann, which claims she began wondering if she was Maddie “a few months ago” after hearing “something” suspicious from her grandma.</p> <p>Julia has since amassed an online following of almost 500,000 people who are gripped by the latest twist in one of the world’s most infamous unsolved cases. </p> <p>The 21-year-old went on to share a series of photographs which she believes prove her likeness to the missing girl. </p> <p>In one video, Julia showed marks on her body that are similar to Maddie’s, while also showing their similar facial structure. </p> <p>Perhaps the most convincing image is one showing Julia with what appears to be a similar eye defect to the one missing Madeleine also has.</p> <p>In Maddie’s case, this was caused by an extremely rare condition in her right eye, which police had hoped for years would help identify her.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cou2m5Dt7vs/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cou2m5Dt7vs/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Help me, I need to talk with Kate and Gerry McCann (@iammadeleinemccan)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Julia told followers she’s not looking for viral fame and “truly believes” she is missing Maddie, even asking her parents for proof of her birth and contacting police. </p> <p>“Police investigators from UK and Poland try to ignore me. I will tell my story in posts here. Help me,” she wrote on Instagram.</p> <p>Julia has called on Maddie's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, to agree to a DNA test to prove Julia is who she says she is. </p> <p>Her story has caught the attention of the McCann's, with a source telling the <a href="https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/girl-who-says-shes-maddie-29250933" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Daily Star</em></a>, “The family are taking no chances, they are willing to look at all leads.”</p> <p>“It is important they look at all of the factors, the girl does look similar. There’s no disputing that.</p> <p>“If what she says is true, there is every chance it could be her. It all adds up.”</p> <p>Kate and Gerry, now both 54, recently pledged to “never give up” their quest to find their missing daughter – adding they were entering their 16th year without her with “continued determination and positivity”.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cov49H9o37g/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cov49H9o37g/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Help me, I need to talk with Kate and Gerry McCann (@iammadeleinemccan)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Madeleine McCann, from Leicestershire in the UK, went missing from her bed in a holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort town Praia da Luz on the evening of May 3rd 2007.</p> <p>She was three years old at the time of her disappearance, meaning if she was alive today, she would be 19. </p> <p>Despite Julia's beliefs, and her online following supporting her claims, investigators in Germany believe Madeleine was killed by Christian Brueckner. </p> <p>He was charged with three counts of aggravated rape and two counts of sexual abuse of children in October last year. </p> <p>The alleged offences span a 17-year period between 2000 and 2017, <a title="www.thesun.co.uk" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/20073185/madeleine-mccann-suspect-charged-germany-2/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>The Sun</em></a><em> </em>reported at the time.</p> <p>Brueckner has never been charged with any offence related to Maddie's disappearance, and despite extensive police efforts, Madeleine's body has never been found. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

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Maddie McCann suspect charged with sex offences

<p dir="ltr">Christian Brueckner, the only suspect in the Madeleine McCann case, has been charged with several sex offences. </p> <p dir="ltr">The 45-year-old, who is already in jail for raping a 72-year-old American woman in the Portuguese resort of Praia de Luz in 2005, is the only suspect in the Maddie McCann case.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Braunschweig prosecutor's office said Brueckner has been charged with several sex offences he committed in Portugal between December 28, 2000, and June 11, 2017.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The accused is the same person against whom charges were brought in connection with the disappearance of the then three-year-old British girl Madeleine Beth McCann,” they said in a statement. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Specifically, the accused is charged with three offences of aggravated rape and two offences of sexual abuse of children.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Police are however continuing their investigation into the disappearance of the then three-year-old who vanished in May 2007 from her bedroom in the Algarve apartment where her family were staying.</p> <p dir="ltr">"The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann continues."</p> <p dir="ltr">"In view of the ongoing investigation, it is not possible to provide any further information on the results of the investigation so far."</p> <p dir="ltr">Brueckner, who was first named as a suspect in the case in April 2022, has denied any involvement in the disappearance of Maddie.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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New evidence found as Madeleine McCann's parents release statement

<p dir="ltr">The German prosecutor in charge of Madeleine McCann’s case has alluded to “new evidence” in relation to the young girl’s disappearance 15 years ago to the day. </p> <p dir="ltr">Christian Brueckner has been officially declared the first formal suspect in the case - years after Madeleine’s parents were also considered suspects but were cleared in 2008.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a televised interview, Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters indicated there is new evidence linking Brueckner to Madeline’s murder but stopped short of revealing any more.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We are sure that he is the murderer of Madeleine McCann. We are sure that he killed Madeleine McCann,” he said. </p> <p dir="ltr">“The investigation is still going on and I think we found some new facts, some new evidence – not forensic evidence, but evidence.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The potential incriminating evidence comes 15 years to the day that Madeleine disappeared on May 3, 2007, with her parents Kate and Gerry McCann releasing a statement.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This year we mark 15 years since we last saw Madeleine. It feels no harder than any other but no easier either,” the statement read.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s a very long time. Many people talk about the need for closure. It’s always felt a strange term.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Regardless of outcome, Madeleine will always be our daughter and a truly horrific crime has been committed. These things will remain.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Brueckner, 45, is currently serving seven years for raping a 72-year-old woman, and is being probed over the 2004 rape of a second woman and sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl at Praia da Luz a month before Madeleine disappeared</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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