Madeleine McCann: Woman asks police to search her home for evidence

Martin Brunt, crime correspondent
Christian B's former home near Braunschweig.

German police have been asked to search a second former home of Madeleine McCann suspect Christian B.

The new owner is said to have called detectives last month after the convicted paedophile was identified on national TV news.

The 30-year-old woman, a tour guide, fears he may have hidden evidence of his crimes in the modest home on an allotment plot near Braunschweig.

The single-story house with a distinctive blue-tiled roof was Christian B's home for three years until she took over the tenancy in 2016.

She said police called soon after she moved in and asked if she knew Christian B, but she said she did not. She never heard from them again.

Last month she told the Sunday People: "I am worried he may have buried a body here. I want the police to dig the ground and check."

A neighbour claimed that Christian B, a 43-year-old drifter, dug out a cellar at the house.

Manfred Richter, 80, said: "He excavated the floor of the house. He took out the rocks and the earth. He dug a big hole. It was three metres deep and six metres wide. He carried out the rocks and earth by hand and dumped it out by the front of the house.

"He put planks of wood over the top of the hole. It took him two months to complete. He started in the morning and worked until evening.

"Doing this work got him in trouble with the authorities in charge of the gardens."

The house lies in the far corner of an estate of garden plots where most tenants spend weekends in a bid to escape their hectic city lives.

The garden is well-kept with palm trees, a rockery and a vegetable plot, shielded from a lane on one side by bamboo and an old apple tree.

An old piece of red and white plastic tape attached to the front gate appeared to suggest police had searched it, but a neighbour said the tape had been left by builders.

Police have spent the last three days digging at another of the suspect's former homes 40 miles away, near Hanover.

He lived there in his camper van on a similar, but smaller garden estate, around 2007.

They used a mini-excavator, ground-penetrating radar, sniffer dogs and a drone in a search prosecutors said was connected with the Madeleine McCann investigation.

They uncovered a cellar on the site of an old house, but police would not say if they found any potential evidence.

Christian B's lawyer, Friedrich Sebastian Fulscher, described the search as "a completely desperate act".

The Braunschweig prosecutor leading the investigation into Christian B's alleged involvement in Madeleine's disappearance has said he has "concrete evidence" she is dead, but needs more to bring a murder charge.

Madeleine was nearly four when she vanished from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007.

Christian B was living nearby at the time and telephone data suggests he was near the apartment an hour before she was last seen.

He spent many years living along the Algarve coast and travelled regularly between Portugal and Germany.

Portuguese authorities twice deported him to face criminal charges in his homeland.

He is currently in a German jail serving sentences for rape and drug supply.

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