Kate and Gerry McCann would be extremely “disappointed but not entirely surprised” if the German investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance in 2007 was abandoned due to lack of evidence, MailOnline may reveal.
Detectives in northern Germany spent six weeks making desperate calls for information to link main suspect Christian Brueckner to the abduction of the three-year-old child, but failed to obtain essential evidence that they need.
German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters told the McCanns they had concrete evidence that Madeleine had died in the biggest breakthrough in the 13-year-old case and said he hoped they could charge Brueckner in the next two years. months – but added that their investigation would not be extended. forever.
Kate and Gerry McCann, photographed in April 2007 after a church service in Praia Da Luz, Algarve, are kept informed of the investigation by German authorities who are expected to comment further this week
Madeleine McCann, pictured, disappeared from her family’s vacation home in Praia Da Luz on the Algarve in May 2007
Brueckner’s lawyers are scheduled to appear before the European Court tomorrow (Thursday) to argue that a 2005 rape conviction against him is not secure and that he should be released from prison within a few days.
Mr. and Mrs. McCann, of Rothley in Lesicestershire, gave hope but are now preparing for the worst.
A friend of the McCanns told MailOnline: “It seems the last suspect can be dismissed because there is not enough evidence to accuse him, which would be very embarrassing for the German authorities and very disappointing but not a surprise. total for Kate and Gerry.
“It had initially appeared as such a vital and solid lead, and the breakthrough they dreamed of, but there seems to be a lack of real evidence.
“Kate and Gerry have had their hopes raised and dashed so many times before. All they want are answers and find out what happened to their daughter after more than 13 years.
“It is a very frustrating and difficult time for them. “
Brueckner, who is currently in a German prison for drug-related crimes and is scheduled to start a seven-year prison sentence for raping an American tourist, hopes to be released this week for legal reasons. His appeal will be heard before the Court of Justice of the European Communities in Luxembourg.
German authorities believe Christian Brueckner, pictured, responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance
Wolters had declared to the world that he was convinced that Maddie, who disappeared at the age of three in a holiday apartment in Portugal in May 2007, had been murdered. He said he even knew how she died but had no idea where her body was.
He has now warned that his team does not intend to “draw this unnecessarily” and has stated that he “would draw a line under” the investigation at some point.
Time is running out because the joint investigation of the three countries, which has been mixed with public speeches, is looking for enough evidence to charge Brueckner with the Maddie abduction.
The McCann source said: “If the investigations into this suspect are dropped for lack of evidence, Kate and Gerry know that at least the police have tried and realize that they cannot continue indefinitely. “
Former general practitioner turned medical professional Kate and cardiologist Gerry cling to a glimmer of hope that their daughter may still be alive. She would now be 17 years old.
The 52-year-old couple from Rothley, Leicestershire had welcomed the high-profile joint call by British and German police in early June for witnesses to come forward after naming Breuckner, 43.
They said in a statement: “We would like to thank the police forces involved for their continued efforts in the search for Madeleine. All we have always wanted is to find it, discover the truth and bring those responsible to justice. We will never give up the hope of finding Madeleine alive, but whatever the outcome, we must know that we must find peace.
If the German authorities drop their investigations into the last suspect, the McCanns are reinforced knowing that the search for Maddie continues by Scotland Yard. Their nine-year Operation Grange probe is expected to get renewed funding for home offices to keep it going until at least the spring of next year.
A force spokesman said, “The investigation remains open and continues, but we cannot comment on it. “
A spokesman for the Interior Ministry, who is about to formally approve the Met Police’s new request for more money, said: “We do not anticipate any problems and often subsidies, in special cases like this are granted retrospectively while work is still in progress. In progress. “
So far, Op Grange has cost the taxpayer £ 12 million.
The McCanns’ friend added: “Kate and Gerry have always held the British police in very high regard and placed their full trust in them when searching for their daughter. They are relieved and remain very grateful that a British force is still actively involved in the search for Madeleine.
Portuguese police continue their search for disused remote wells near Praia da Luz, the seaside resort of Maddie has disappeared, in the sinister hunt for his body. Three of them have already been examined and up to 20 others should be targeted in the coming days.
The McCanns remained “in suspense” after learning of the last police activity in the Algarve. The source said, “It’s a period of prolonged agony. They still have absolutely no idea what evidence is available to the police and no idea whether their daughter is dead or alive. They stay in suspense during this time. “
Former family spokesperson Clarence Mitchell said, “Kate and Gerry want answers and although the Met still treats the kidnapping of Madeleine as a missing person rather than an investigation into a murder, it does gives a glimmer of hope. They will continue to hope until there is compelling evidence that Madeleine is dead.