THE main suspect in the disappearance of Maddie McCann had a female partner in crime in Portugal, it has been sensationally revealed.
German ex-girlfriend Nicole Fehlinger, 44, has been named as Christian Brueckner’s crime ‘accomplice’ in a series of burglaries on the Algarve in 2007.
In an explosive documentary on Portugal’s national RTP TV station, the attractive German from Wurzburg, has been accused of pinpointing ‘good properties to rob’ for the pair.
Billing the documentary on Sexta at 9 as ‘Accomplice of Christian Brueckner’, journalist Sandra Felgueiras accused Fehlinger of being his ‘partner in crime’.
In one burglary alone, on November 1, 2007, the pair are said to have taken over €100,000.
At the property in Praia da Gale, near Albufeira, Christian was later recognised by neighbours.
“The victims contacted me and I have now confirmed it with the court files,” Felgueiras told the Olive Press.
“I have evidence that Christian committed burglaries with Nicole,” she continued.
In the hard-hitting program she interviews the Portuguese couple for whom Nicole worked as a babysitter for five months from June to October 2007.
They revealed how the theft was of a bag of cash that they had wanted to deposit at a bank, but were unable to, meaning it was left at home for a day.
They insisted the only person to know about the bag was Nicole and she had alerted her boyfriend Brueckner to steal it.
They immediately denounced her to police, who brought Nicole in for questioning.
While she admitted to calling Brueckner, she insisted he was in Germany at the time.
This was denied by neighbours, who saw a man they are now sure was Brueckner, lurking around the house that day.
“She called him saying the house was free. Then it got robbed,” said Felgueiras. “It is an unbelievable story.”
It is now suspected that a number that Brueckner rang half an hour before Maddie went missing in May that year, could have been Nicole’s.
German detectives are said to now know who owned the number he called, while just outside the Ocean Club apartment.
The Olive Press revealed last month that Fehlinger claimed to be a child psychologist and ran a rehabilitation programme for troubled teenagers from her home in Foral, 45 minutes from Praia da Luz, where Maddie vanished in May 2007.
Locals told this paper that Nicole was believed to have two children of her own, and at one point turned up in the village with a baby.
One, a local primary school teacher, added that Nicole led ‘a strange and complicated life’ and ‘her story didn’t add up’.
“I didn’t believe she was really a child psychologist as she claimed. The set up was always very odd,” she revealed.
Lia Silva, the owner of the villa she rented for around six years (some four years without paying rent), said she had one ‘very violent’ boyfriend Romano, who allegedly beat her up.
Brueckner was also a frequent visitor to the home, Villa Bianca, and lived there for months on end, in particular soon after the disappearance of Madeleine.
His various vans were spotted there before the toddler vanished and it is believed that he had been dating Nicole on and off for years.
RTP last week re-confirmed that Nicole was Christian’s ‘girlfriend’ and insisted the pair spent a lot of time together.
While she has denied being close to him, her father Dieter, a taxi driver, recalls meeting Brueckner in Portugal, when he insisted he could hide children in his expensive winnebago bought just after Maddie vanished.
While living in Foral, Brueckner is said to have carried a gun and at one stage was allegedly credited with helping track down a German teenager who had intriguingly ‘fled’ to Albufeira to live with a gypsy gang.
The half German, half Russian girl, who can be exclusively identified today as ‘Lina’, was 16 at the time of her disappearance.
While police investigated the case, particularly as the teenage girl came back pregnant, no charges were ever brought.
However, in a police report, seen by the Olive Press, it said she had been socialising with three Russians or Ukranians at the O Foral restaurant on the day she went missing.
The missing persons report, filed by Nicole, added that she was the tutor of the ‘traumatised’ girl and that she had vanished before.
It comes after it was revealed by Brueckner’s former best friend Michael Tatschl that he was a prolific burglar while he lived with him in Praia da Luz in 2005 and 2006.
The Austrian revealed that he kept hundreds of passports, expensive watches and jewelry in a secret hiding place in the so-called ‘Yellow house’ they shared just outside the resort.
He said he particularly targeted British and German tourists, as they were easy pickings.
The pair spent eight months in prison together, after being caught stealing petrol from cars in April 2006.
During the time in prison he revealed that Christian had asked two friends to go into the house to remove any incriminating evidence that could be held against him.
This included a video recorder found to have a film of the German raping an elderly woman, believed to be a 72-year-old American in Praia da Luz in 2006.
Intriguingly, Tatschl also talked about a ‘long-term German girlfriend’ – believed to be Nicole – that Christian would ‘often go off and see’.
He said she lived some distance away and they were ‘happy together’ and ‘saw each other regularly’.
Nicole refused to comment to RTP when confronted by the programme this week.