‘Clinching piece of evidence’ still needed in Maddie case after latest revelations– expert

Madeleine McCann: Expert on missing person investigation

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Charlie Hedges, a former member of the UK police who previously was head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection unit at the National Crime Agency, explained that all the evidence against Christian B appeared circumstantial – a possible reason why German prosecutors have yet to bring charges. However, the new evidence coming to light about Christian B “are pieces of the jigsaw puzzle”.

Madeleine went missing when she was three years old, while her family were on holiday in the Algarve in 2007.

Convicted rapist and child sexual abuser Christian B was identified as the prime suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance by investigators in Braunschweig in June 2020.

They believe he is responsible for the killing of Maddie. Christian B has always denied all allegations in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

A recent documentary by German TV channel Sat.1 claimed it had evidence that Christian B had “repeatedly worked” at the Ocean Club resort where the McCanns were staying.

It also spoke to former acquaintances, who claimed they found a gun and child pornography at his addresses.

Despite these striking revelations, Mr Hedges – who is now a missing persons specialist at Amber Alert Europe – noted the evidence that has so far come out against Christian B has been circumstantial.

He said: “It’s not unheard of for things to be proven on circumstantial evidence if there’s enough of it.

“But, again, you’ve got the challenge of any evidence that comes forward.

“Any witnesses that come forward now, the defence would have a lovely time talking to them and challenging their memory and why they’ve only come forward now and what have you.

“It just creates so many more difficulties the older case gets.”

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Any witnesses that come forward now, the defence would have a lovely time talking to them and challenging their memory and why they’ve only come forward now and what have you.

“It just creates so many more difficulties the older case gets.”

Mr Hedges added: “The difficulty with a case as old as this is getting reliable evidence, because people’s memories aren’t always true after this period of time.

“And in any case, the best chance of solving is from getting it right from the outset and being able follow up on the leads when they’re still hot.

“But that’s not to say it’s unsolvable, it just makes it more difficult.”

The progression of the case may have been hindered by moves made by the police.

German newspaper Der Spiegel reported in 2020 that Christian B had been invited in for questioning in 2013 via a letter which stated the matter was in reference to Madeleine McCann.

Officers told the paper that this had been a blunder, as such a high-profile case would have required more evidence to be gathered before approaching a potential suspect.

When asked to comment, Mr Wolters told Express.co.uk: “In 2013, Christian B was questioned by the police as a witness. At that time there were no suspicions against him.

“Therefore, an interrogation of the accused was not justified at the time.”

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