Police have identified a German sex offender as a key suspect in the case of missing Madeleine McCann.
A spokesperson for Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry said the past 13 year’s since Madeleine’s disappearance had been a “living hell” for the family.
Speaking with talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, Clarence Mitchell said: “They have never given up hope that Madeleine might still be found alive…They are realistic though.
“If this does indeed lead to resolution - I would never use the word optimism or hope given the circumstances surrounding this man - but nevertheless it will help to bring them that sense of peace that they so desperately need.”
The suspect, who has not been named, is described as white with short blond hair and about 6ft tall with a slim build at the time Madeleine vanished on May 3 2007.
Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office said the 43-year-old is serving a prison sentence for a sex crime and has two previous convictions for “sexual contact with girls”.
The German national is known to have been in and around the area on the Algarve coast at the time Madeleine went missing during a family holiday shortly before her fourth birthday.
UK police said the case remains a missing person inquiry, though German authorities are treating it as a murder investigation.
Scotland Yard is launching a joint appeal with German and Portuguese forces for information, including a £20,000 reward.
Information can be reported to the Operation Grange incident room on 0207 321 9251 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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