A police officer who was guarding the vacation apartment from which Madeleine McCann had disappeared arrested the prime suspect 10 years later.
In a remarkable coincidence, Vanessa Vieira hired Christian Bruckner to flash him in a stadium in 2017, before he was linked to a financial loss.
Her story is revealed in a new book on the case, as authorities bring a case against the convicted pedophile Bruckner – who was named last year as the prime suspect.
The officer said she was still feeling the grief of the McCanns after days of working at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, Portugal, where Madi disappeared in 2007 days before turning four, mirror reports.
She criticized the investigation by her Portuguese colleagues, which focused on parents Kate and Jerry.
Vanessa said she met Bruckner while off duty at a food festival with her daughter in Messines, 40 miles from Praia.
She said, “Two kids came running and said there was a guy with his pants down.
“Parents rushed right in. He got up and started picking up flies.
They were really angry and grabbed him and started pushing him. It required all my strength of persuasion and strength to keep them away from him. They wanted to kill him. I told him I was a policewoman and asked his name.
“Christian told me he was visiting friends. He looked drunk.
I asked him what he was doing with his pants down. He said he “needs to go pee.”
The officer asked Bruckner for his driver’s license and then called the local police station, giving them his full name.
“They told me there was an arrest warrant for him and put him in the car and took him to cells all night.”
Bruckner was deported to Germany to face questioning for other crimes, for which he remains imprisoned.
Speaking in My Search for Madeleine to British journalist John Clarke, Vanessa said: “I’ve stood on duty outside the apartment at the Ocean Club and seen the McCanns on many occasions. I was devastated.
“I could really see their pain. I was as shocked as everyone else when they were suspected… It just didn’t make sense. I had the pleasure of dropping the case against them.”
Bruckner, 44, is imprisoned in Germany for raping a 72-year-old woman in Praia da Luz in 2005.
He has not been questioned or charged in connection with Madi.
This excerpt comes from the book My Search for Madeleine by John Clark, Available here.
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