Cop who guarded Madeleine McCann flat caught prime suspect 10 years later
In a remarkable coincidence, Vanessa Vieira picked up Christian Brueckner for flashing at a playground in 2017, before he was linked to missing Maddie
- BY PATRICK HILL
- 22:22, 4 SEP 2021
A police officer who guarded the holiday flat from where Madeleine McCann went missing caught the prime suspect 10 years later.
In a remarkable coincidence, Vanessa Vieira picked up Christian Brueckner for flashing at a playground in 2017, before he was linked to missing Maddie.
Her story is revealed in a new book on the case, as authorities build a case against convicted paedophile Brueckner – last year named as the main suspect.
The officer said she still feels the McCanns’ grief after days on duty at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, Portugal, from where Maddie vanished in 2007 days before turning four, the Mirror reports.
And she criticised the probe by her Portuguese colleagues, which focused on parents Kate and Gerry.
Vanessa said she encountered Brueckner while off duty at a food festival with her daughter in Messines, 40 miles from Praia.
She said: “Two kids came running over and said there was a man with his trousers down.
“The dads rushed straight over. He got up and started doing his flies up.https://9c86ef7b6402d14a26c9c3fb81bfd2f8.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0
21-year-old Irish woman asks for help after doctors told her “we’re expecting you to die”Customers of Dublin cafe rage at owner after comments about workers ‘staying on PUP’Gardai’s cheeky message to law breaker after catching driver on their birthday
“They were really angry and grabbed him and started pushing him around. It took all my powers of persuasion and strength to hold them off him. They wanted to kill him. I told him I was a policewoman and asked his name.
“He told me ‘Christian’ and said he was visiting friends. He looked drunk.
“I asked him what he was doing with his trousers down. He said he ‘needed to go for a pee pee’.”
The officer asked Brueckner for his driving licence then phoned the local police station, giving them his full name.
“They told me there was a warrant for his arrest and they bundled him in the car and took him off to be held in the cells overnight.”
Brueckner was deported to Germany to face questioning for other crimes, for which he is still jailed.
Speaking in My Search for Madeleine by British journalist Jon Clarke, Vanessa said: “I stood on duty outside the apartment at the Ocean Club and saw the McCanns on lots of occasions. I felt the tragedy.https://9c86ef7b6402d14a26c9c3fb81bfd2f8.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0
21-year-old Irish woman asks for help after doctors told her “we’re expecting you to die”Irish priest brutally beaten to death ‘lay dying for hours and could have been saved’Customers of Dublin cafe rage at owner after comments about workers ‘staying on PUP’
“I could really see their pain. I was as shocked as anyone when they were made suspects… it made no sense. I was pleased when the case against them was dropped.”
Brueckner, 44, is in a German jail for raping a 72-year-old woman in Praia da Luz in 2005.
He has never been questioned or charged in relation to Maddie.
This extract comes from the book My Search for Madeleine, by Jon Clarke, available here.
- Irish woman suspected to have been raped by Madeleine McCann suspect will get justice, prosecutor says
© 2021 MGN Limited