Hans Christian Wolters, the German prosecutor leading the investigation into Christian B – the new prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, has said it is possible the child is still alive. It comes after the cop claimed he thought the child, who went missing in May 2007, was dead.
Mr Wolters told the Mirror there is no forensic evidence to show Maddie is dead.
And despite previously saying he believes suspect Christian B killed her quickly, he said: “It was only personal opinion and speculation.”
Earlier this week the prosecutor said he believed the child had been killed.
He told The Times: “My private opinion is that he relatively quickly killed the girl, possibly abused her and then killed her.
Madeleine McCann could still be alive, a leading officer has claimed
“We believe our suspect committed further crimes, especially sexual crimes, in Portugal possibly but also elsewhere like Germany.”
The comments prompted Kate and Gerry McCann, the missing girl’s parents, to urge the German investigators to reveal the evidence that led to declare that she was dead.
A friend of the McCann’s criticised him last night, and said: “You shouldn’t say it if you don’t know for a fact.
“They said from the outset they’re treating it as a murder investigation.
JUST IN: Former detective sparks new hopes Madeleine McCann could be alive
Madeleine McCann could still be alive, a German prosecutor has claimed
“They shouldn’t have been saying that unless they were damn sure.”
Madeleine vanished from a resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal in May 2007, and until now little progress has been made in uncovering the mystery surrounding her disappearance.
But last week German prosecutors announced they suspected a 43-year-old man, who is currently in jail, had kidnapped the child and later murdered her.
After being told the investigators believed Maddie was dead, family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “The McCanns have only ever wanted to know what happened.
Madeleine McCann suspect applies for EARLY RELEASE from Germany prison [INSIGHT]
Madeleine McCann suspect left me covered in blood says ex-girlfriend [COMMENT]
Madeleine McCann ‘killed soon after she was abducted’, says prosecutor [DETAILS]
Madeleine McCann disappeared when she was three years old
“Without that knowledge they will never find peace and they are still relying on the police to establish the facts around this particular lead.”
But in his latest comments on the investigation, Mr Wolters conceded there is “a little bit of hope” that she is still alive.
He told the newspaper: “Because there is no forensic evidence there may be a little bit of hope.
“We don’t want to kill the hope and because there is no forensic evidence it may be possible.
A prime suspect into Maddie’s disappearance was announced last week, and he is currently in a jail in Germany
“I am surprised the fact we say or I say Madeleine is dead is so important for the British people.
“In Germany it’s more normal we investigate a murder in such a case, so it’s not so important. It’s more normal.”
Asked about saying Madeleine was killed quickly, he said: “That was private opinion and speculation… without facts. I said ‘I believe’ because in cases where children were kidnapped, they made a sexual crime then killed.’”
The McCann’s Portuguese lawyer, Rogerio Alves, heavily criticised the investigators for refusing to say what evidence they had to suggest Maddie is dead.
He said: “They need to know what’s going on. It’s a question of legality but also humanity. Of course they want to know. It’s cruel.”