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The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann: A Timeline of Key Dates and Developments


The case of Madeleine McCann's disappearance has captivated the world's attention for over a decade. The search for answers continues, and in this article, we present a timeline of the key dates and developments surrounding this tragic event. By examining the significant events, investigations, and subsequent developments, we hope to shed light on this ongoing mystery.

1. May 3, 2007: Madeleine McCann Disappears

On this fateful day, three-year-old Madeleine McCann vanished from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, were dining at a nearby restaurant when the incident occurred, setting off a global search for the missing child.

2. Initial Investigation and Media Attention

The case received immediate media attention, drawing both sympathy and scrutiny. Portuguese authorities launched an investigation, and extensive searches were carried out in Praia da Luz and surrounding areas. As the media coverage intensified, Madeleine's parents embarked on a relentless campaign to find their daughter, seeking public support and assistance.

3. Suspect and Witness Sightings

Over the years, numerous sightings and potential suspects emerged, leading investigators in various directions. One of the most significant sightings was reported in Morocco, where a British tourist believed she saw Madeleine. However, these leads ultimately failed to yield concrete evidence or locate the missing child.

4. 2008: Portuguese Police Make Parents Suspects

In September 2007, Portuguese police named Kate and Gerry McCann as formal suspects in their daughter's disappearance, also known as arguidos. This development created a significant media frenzy and led to intense scrutiny of the McCanns' actions and involvement. However, in July 2008, the case against the McCanns was dropped due to insufficient evidence.

5. 2011: Scotland Yard Launches Review

Following the shelving of the case in Portugal, the British government requested assistance from the Metropolitan Police Service (commonly known as Scotland Yard). In 2011, Scotland Yard launched Operation Grange, a review of the case, aiming to uncover new leads and potentially solve the mystery.

6. 2013: New E-Fits Released

In October 2013, British police released two e-fit images of a man seen carrying a child near the McCanns' apartment on the night of Madeleine's disappearance. This renewed appeal for information brought a surge of tips from the public, but the man depicted in the e-fits remains unidentified.

7. 2017: Reduced Team and Investigation Continues

In 2015, the number of officers working on Operation Grange was reduced, reflecting a shift towards a scaled-down investigation. However, the commitment to solving the case persisted, and the British government continued to fund the operation, allowing a small team to remain dedicated to the investigation.

8. 2020: New Suspect Identified

In June 2020, German authorities identified a new suspect, a 43-year-old German man named Christian Brückner. Brückner had a history of criminal offenses and was known to have been in the vicinity of Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine's disappearance. This breakthrough prompted renewed interest in the case and reignited hope for answers.

9. Ongoing Developments and Investigation

As of the present, the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance remains active. Authorities in multiple countries continue to pursue leads and gather evidence, hoping to uncover the truth and provide closure to Madeleine's family.


The case of Madeleine McCann's disappearance has remained one of the most high-profile missing persons cases of our time. The timeline presented here highlights key dates

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