A PLUCKY policewoman who arrested Madeleine McCann suspect in 2017 says police tried to locate a ‘blonde man’ who was with him that night

Off-duty officer Vanessa Viera revealed in a new book that she and her colleagues searched around the area trying to find the potential accomplice.

Pic 56 Pc Vanessa Viera Who Accosted Brueckner
Policewoman Vanessa Viera. Photo: Jon Clarke/Olve Press Spain

It came after she arrested dangerous sex offender Christian Brueckner, 44, in a children’s park in Messines, on the Algarve, at 2.15am during a local fiesta.

“He looked so familiar and I knew I had seen him before,” she revealed in the book, My Search for Madeleine, by Olive Press editor Jon Clarke.

“It was then I realised he hadn’t come alone and I’d seen him and his friend at one of the bars in the square.

“Other parents also remembered he had been chatting to another tall blonde man.”

Her grilling of the German came after she was forced to hold off four angry dads of kids he had allegedly flashed at under a slide.

Pic 55 The Messines Slide Where Brueckner Was Arrested In 2017
The playground where Brueckner was arrested after flashing at kids. Photo: Jon Clarke/Olve Press Spain

She eventually calmed them down and managed to call in colleagues.

“I asked him where his friend was and he just smiled and wouldn’t say anything. He wouldn’t tell us where he was staying either.”

She continued: “We searched all around for his friend, but it was clear he had completely vanished. He must have taken the car or van.”

After being handcuffed he was taken to a police van, where her colleagues discovered there was a warrant for his arrest for sex offences in Germany.

He was then taken to prison, from where he was extradited a fortnight later.

The Portuguese WPC, who had been out with her five-year-old daughter that night, had been following the case closely for a decade.

She had actually been stationed outside the apartment at the Ocean Club, in Praia da Luz, where Madeleine, 3, had been snatched in May, 2007.

She never thought for a second that the McCann family were involved.

“I saw first hand the tragedy and trauma that the poor family went through,” she reveals in the book. “It was awful. I could really see their pain and suffering.”

Pic 11 Mugshot Of Christian Brueckner
Christian Brueckner

The book has carefully tracked the German sex offender’s movements since first arriving in Portugal in 1994.

Apart from spending over a decade in Portugal, Brueckner spent many months living in Spain, in particular in the Granada province, near Orgiva.

My Search for Madeleine, by Jon Clarke, can be bought on all Amazon platforms in both digital and print formats.

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