Christian Brückner told friends “the child is now dead” when missing Madeleine McCann came up in conversation in 2014, according to reports.
Former colleagues of Brückner, a paedophile who was last week revealed as a suspect in Madeleine’s 2007 disappearance, said he “completely freaked out” when a group started discussing the case.
Brückner responded by saying it was possible to “make a body disappear quickly” while telling them how to dispose of human remains, the former acquaintances claimed.
Lenta Johlitz, 34, who worked with Brückner at a kiosk he ran in Braunschweig, north Germany, seven years after Madeleine vanished, told Bild newspaper: “Once he was completely freaked out when we were … talking about the Maddie case.
“He wanted us to stop.
“He cried, ‘The child is now dead and now that’s a good thing!’ And, ‘You can make a body disappear quickly! Pigs also eat human flesh!’”
On Wednesday, German prosecutors announced that a 43-year-old man was being investigated on suspicion of murdering the three-year-old, who vanished without a trace while on holiday with her family in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
Since the development, details of Brückner’s criminal past and troubled upbringing have emerged. Growing up in Würzburg, Bavaria, he was adopted at a young age and reportedly sent to a home for troubled children because his adoptive family could not cope with his unruly behaviour.
Yesterday a neighbour, a woman in her late 50s, said Brückner was one of three boys fostered by the Brückner family and described him as “trouble”.
A former classmate who went to school with him in Würzburg said he would cause problems frequently. Alexander Walter said: “He made small break-ins here and there – got into sports halls, broke in