Madeleine McCann suspect may be linked to 1995 disappearance of boy, 7, who vanished on beach

THE Madeleine McCann prime suspect may be linked to the 1995 disappearance of a seven-year-old boy who vanished on a beach in the Netherlands, police have said.

Dutch police are working with German authorities to determine whether Christian B was behind the disappearance of Jaïr Soares, who went missing in August 1995.

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Police in The Hague said they were going to "exchange information" about the suspect with German cops.

Jaïr vanished from a beach near the Zuid-Holland town of Monster nearly 25 years ago.

Leo Simais, from The Hague's cold case team, told Dutch paper De Telegraaf: "We would be crazy if we didn't look closely at this German man.

"We have now made contact with the German Criminal Investigation Service and are going to exchange information.

"We are now working on a presentation about the disappearance of Jaïr, which we can then take with us."

It comes as police in Bayreuth, near Nuremberg, announced yesterday that Christian B is "under investigation" in the case of another girl who disappeared on May 7 2001 on her way home from school.

Partial remains of Peggy Knobloch were discovered in the Thuringian Forest on July 2 2016.

It means Christian B, 43, is now being investigated in connection with the disappearance of six children – including Madeleine, three, who went missing in the Algarve in 2007. 

Detectives are also re-examining the cases of Rene Hasee, six, who went missing while on holiday in Aljezur – 25 miles away from Praia da Luz, where Christian B was living at the time.

The German is also a suspect in the disappearances of Carola Titze, 16, who went missing in Belgium in 1996 and Inga Gehricke, five, who vanished in Germany in 2015.

He has also been linked to the 2010 killing of Monika Pawlak, a 24-year-old prostitute, in Hanover.

Last night we reported how a Brit ex-girlfriend of Christian B claimed he told her he had a "horrible job to do in Praia da Luz" the night before Madeleine disappeared.

He told the woman, who was not identified: "It's something I have to do, and it will change my life. You won't be seeing me for a while."

Christian B disappeared at the same time as Madeleine, resurfacing three years later working in a bar in Lagos, around six miles from Praia da Luz.

Christian B is currently in a high-security prison in the northern port city of Kiel in Germany after he was jailed for 21 months for selling drugs.

He has also been handed a seven-year sentence for the rape of a 72-year-old widow in the Algarve in 2005.

The convicted child sex offender is known to have lived on the Algarve coast and his Portuguese mobile phone received a half-hour phone call in Praia da Luz around an hour before Madeleine went missing on May 3 2007.

German authorities have previously said they believe Madeleine is dead and are investigating the suspect on suspicion of murder.

Hans Christian Wolters, a spokesman for the Braunschweig public prosecutor's office, said on Monday they have some evidence that Madeleine is dead but did not have enough for a trial.

Mr Wolters told Sky News: "The hard evidence we don't have, we don't have the crucial evidence of Madeleine McCann's body.

"We expect that she is dead, but we don't have enough evidence that we can get a warrant for our suspect in Germany for the murder of Madeleine McCann.

"At the moment, we also don't have enough proof for a trial at court, but we have some evidence that the suspect has done the deed.

"That's why we need more information from people, especially places he has lived, so we can target these places especially and search there for Madeleine."

Mr Wolters called on British tourists who visited Praia da Luz between 1995 and 2007, when the suspect is thought to have lived in the area, to come forward with any information about the suspect.

The Metropolitan Police's investigation has identified more than 600 people as potentially significant and was tipped off about the German national, already known to detectives, following a 2017 appeal 10 years after she went missing.

Madeleine vanished shortly before her fourth birthday, while her parents were eating dinner with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant, and would have turned 17 last month.

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