17 Jun, 2020 @ 17:13
3 mins read

Maddie McCann investigators want to trace movements in Spain of Winnebago motor home German suspect Christian Brueckner owned

Winnebago Motorhome

A huge motor home which Madeleine McCann case suspect Christian Brueckner allegedly bragged was perfect to hide drugs and children has taken centre stage in the police investigation.

He is known to have owned a Tiffin Allegro matching the description of the 30-foot long Winnebago-style vehicle at the time of three-year-old Maddie’s disappearance in 2007.

Winnebago Motorhome
SUSPICIOUS: Did you see this Tiffin Allegro? Pictures Spiegel TV.

He will have driven it through Spain as he moved between Germany and Portugal, and police would like to hear of any sightings of the vehicle at the time.

Officers investigating the disappearance of five-year-old Inga Gehricke in Germany in 2015 found the motor home as they searched land bought at auction by Brueckner  in 2000. He was under suspicion after she vanished on a family outing. Known as ‘the German Maddie’ she has never been found. Brueckner was charged with child porn offences, but was not over the Gehricke case.

Swimsuit 2
DISCOVERED: Police found children’s swimming costumes in a search of land owned by Brueckner.

Spiegel TV reported that a search of the site uncovered many pieces of children’s clothing including small swimming costumes.

They also found six memory sticks with more than 8,000 images and videos of children being abused.

There have been several reports of sightings of the vehicle on the Algarve around the time Maddie disappeared in 2007.

Maddie Swim Suit Investigation
CHILLING: Found by police investigating German girl’s disappearance.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, a former ambulance driver called Dieter said: “In my van, I can take 50kg of grass – nobody can see it … I can transport children, kids, in this space. Drugs and children, you can transport them in this van – it’s a safe space in the van. Nobody can find them. Nobody can catch you’.”

It is not known where the motor home is now.

Meanwhile, the Olive Press revealed last week how his other VW Westfalia van was spotted by a gardener at the Costa Blanca village of Alcossebre.

Madeleine Van
SPOTTED: VW Westfalia was seen on the Costa Blanca.

The handyman, who worked at the Tunel restaurant, just outside the village, told police he was convinced he had seen Maddie getting out of the vehicle with a German man three weeks after she went missing in May 2007.

We have also managed to trace Brueckner’s movements to a new location, 45 minutes inland from Praia da Luz, where Maddie went missing.

Working alongside the Mail on Sunday, the Olive Press located a house ijn the village of Foral, where the paedophile had spent many months on and off for a few years, prior to her alleged abduction.

Meanwhile, German police have this week asked Portuguese investigators for permission to re-test a saliva sample found in the apartment from which Maddie went missing.

Portuguese scientists were unable to find a DNA match from the sample, found on her bed, and now German authorities want to run their own tests to see if they can link Brueckner to the scene.

maddie mccann then and now
VANISHED: Maddie McCann.

However, it is reportedly unlikely that the Portuguese police will release the sample – said to be little more than a trace – due to legal restrictions and after criticism from Hans Christian Wolters, the German prosecutor in Braunschweig.

They previously refused to release a series of hairs found in the apartment to detectives at Scotland Yard.

Wolters, who has been leading the probe, announced last week that the Portuguese police still believe the family of Maddie are involved.

The Olive Press has long campaigned on behalf of widening the search to known paedophiles in the area.

Incredibly, Brueckner was left off a list of the top 600 suspects handed to the UK police, despite his background.

The Olive Press’s editor Jon Clarke was the first journalist on the scene of the crime, the morning after she had gone missing.

He spoke to the ‘clearly distraught’ parents, promising to help as best he could, and recently featured in the Netflix documentary on the mystery.

He said, this week: “There is no doubt there was a fixation on pinning this crime to the parents and this led to many other suspects, such as Brueckner being ignored, perhaps to commit many other crimes since.”

He added: “Having visited Praia da Luz twice in the last fortnight to investigate more, I am convinced that this man is the real culprit.

“Living in the area for so long and with his background and fetish for children, he would know where to find a girl like Maddie and how easy it would be to siphon her away on a dark lane to his nearby house or many of the other nearby empty homes, before maybe taking her on elsewhere.

“I really hope the Portuguese police start to engage with this enquiry wholeheartedly and start to accept that the parents are not guilty,” he added.

If you saw either the Tiffin Allegro motor home or VW Westfalia camper van contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es.

Dilip Kuner

A father of three with extensive newspaper experience, including UK
national papers, Dilip has lived in Spain for 26 years


  1. I was living in Lisbon working for a law firm at the time of the McGann abduction. I know well from personal experience the attitude of Portuguese National Police: arrogant, highly political, xenophobic, indifferent and poorly trained. And, of course, paramilitary with many ex-military in their ranks.
    I had been assaulted at midday on a Lisbon street with 8 witnesses, 3 of them nuns. Yet, there was “nothing we can do because you lack sufficient legal evidence.” So, unless the German police do it on their own, I doubt they will get DNA or other critical evidence.

    Location : Chicago and Asturias
    • Hi Chas
      It’s why I’m sticking my neck out a bit here… There is no doubt the Portuguese cops, like the Spanish, put ‘guiri crimes’ down the list generally and if it Can be solved quickly with another guiri guilty then all well and good. given the other political and judiciary paedophile scandals around at the time involving children’s homes and very senior figures, they were well used to covering things up and turning attention elsewhere. I’ve been criticised for what I’ve said in the past and the conspiracy theories and theorists have picked a part of my timeline, but I was there on the ground for most of the first two weeks and right from the first morning and I can tell you for certain the family were not involved.

        • Actually, Jon it was worse. I was left in the middle of the street unable to walk. A big Mercedes stopped and the driver, a German businessman, took me to the hospital and waited during xrays and bandages. I had a picture of the guy taken during the assault, but nat’l police said there was no ‘proof’ that I had taken it during the assault. The daughter of the lawyer I worked for was married to the son of a retired high level colonel: he called the Comandante of the police, and a senior detective and mildly drunk inspector showed up, only to incompetently use my WC. The thug, who worked nearby, saw the police enter and thereafter avoided me. Apparently, this is the informal way of handling this kind of thing. That is, you have to be connected to someone important of the same or higher class than the police comandante – you need a “cunha”, ie, wedge in Portuguese to open doors. My experience, however, is that Portuguese police, while perhaps as inept as Spanish, are much less aggressive and considerably better educated and polite.

          • that’s quite a story.

            And in Spanish your word is actually an ‘enchufa’ and this means having a plug or socket into the right person or the right crowd to help solve your problems.

            So if you haven’t got this you will find it difficult to get anything done.

            I often hear phrases like ‘El esta muy enchufado’!!! He’s well connected.

            Curiously on my three recent trips to Portugal on the Maddie case I have very much noticed the difference in politeness between the Portuguese and Spanish police and I would say it’s a general trait in every aspect of society there.

            When it comes to the cops in the Maddie case however, the mind boggles.

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