Chilling clue found in the murder of Madeleine McCann
The night before three-year-old Madeleine McCann vanished the prime suspect in her disappearance reportedly revealed he had a "horrible job to do" in the area where her family was holidaying.
The young British girl is suspected to have been abducted from the apartment accommodation her family was staying in at Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007.
Christian Brueckner, a 43-year-old German sex offender, has recently been named by police as the prime suspect in the girl's disappearance.
An ex-girlfriend of Brueckner has claimedhe made a chilling comment to her the day before Maddie disappeared, according to The Sun.
Brueckner, who was 30 at the time, allegedly told the woman: "I have a job to do in Praia da Luz tomorrow. It's a horrible job but it's something I have to do and it will change my life. You won't be seeing me for a while."
The woman is one of the two British woman who have given evidence to police after they dated the German man while he was in the Praia da Luz area of Portugal.
Brueckner disappeared the same night as Maddie and it wasn't until three years later that his other former partner ran into him working at a bar in Lagos.
When the pair reunited, his ex-girlfriend suggested he looked eerily similar to some of the composite photos of the suspects in Maddie's case.
The woman claims she jokingly said: "You did it Christian, didn't you?".
A friend of the woman told The Sun the German man ignored the question, saying: "Just don't go there".
"It was said at a time when everyone had a theory about the Madeleine mystery and everyone had a story," she said.
"So everyone who knew him around that time kind of dismissed it."
The woman's friend said his ex-partner didn't take his comment too seriously at the time because she couldn't believe he could do something like that.
"Then Christian went off the radar the day after the abduction. Both his exes became more suspicious when he didn't return to the area for around three years," she told the publication.
"They read about the witness accounts and realised some of the photofits and artist's impressions struck a chord."
It wasn't until last week, when German authorities announced they were investigating as man identified only as "Christian B" in relation to Maddie's disappearance, that the women finally understood what is comments may have truly meant.
"We all fear we know exactly what he's done. All the pieces of the jigsaw have fallen into place. We're horrified and traumatised. It just doesn't bear thinking about," the friend said.
She said they all "feel guilty" that they hadn't put things together sooner and gone to the policy with their theory.
Brueckner is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for the rape of a 72-year-old American woman in 2005.
He had allegedly told a friend about Maddie's abduction over a drink on the 10th anniversary of her disappearance, and then shown the person a video of a rape which led to the person tipping off police.
The German man also has criminal records for the distribution of child pornography, sexual abuse of children, and violations of the Narcotics Act, according to German media.
It was recently revealed that Brueckner may have been tipped off by a hotel employee that Maddie's parents would be out of their holiday accommodation for the night.
Portuguese newspaper Correio de Manhã, reported an employee at the Ocean Club in Praia da told the man that the McCann parents would be out for dinner and their apartment would be easy to break in to.
The staff member, who has since been identified by police, also reportedly had the suspect's phone number in his mobile contacts.
Brueckner received a half-hour phone call in Praia da Luz around an hour before Maddie went missing.
Hans Christian Wolters, a spokesman for the Braunschweig Public Prosecutor's Office, told journalists last week "we are assuming that the girl is dead".
"In connection with the disappearance of the three-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann on May 3, 2007 from an apartment complex in Praia da Luz, in Portugal, the Braunschweig prosecution is investigating against a 43-year-old German on suspicion of murder.
"With the suspect, we are talking about a sexual predator who has already been convicted of crimes against little girls and he's already serving a long sentence."
German authorities are appealing for more information about Maddie's disappearance, with Wolters saying on Monday that they had evidence but not enough for a trial.
"The hard evidence we don't have, we don't have the crucial evidence of Madeleine McCann's body," he told Sky News.
"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."
Originally published as Chilling clue in Maddie's disappearance