Agonising letter confirms worst for Maddie
German police have written to Kate and Gerry McCann to tell them their daughter Madeleine, who went missing in May 2007, was murdered.
Hans Christian Wolters, who is leading the case against convicted rapist Christian Brueckner, said he couldn't share key evidence with Scotland Yard officers or police in Portugal over fears it could jeopardise the inquiry into the suspect.
"I sympathise with the parents but if we reveal more details to them it might jeopardise the investigation," he said yesterday.
"We have concrete evidence that our suspect has killed Madeleine and this means she is dead. The parents have been told the German police have evidence that she is dead but we (have) not told them the details."
While Madeleine's parents are yet to respond to the letter, The Sun reports they could be told within a matter of days how their three-year-old daughter died, after vanishing on a 2007 holiday in Portugal's Praia da Luz.
Portuguese police yesterday described the information shared with them by the German prosecutors as "significant" and "very important".
The McCanns' lawyer Rogerio Alves, who previously criticised investigators for keeping the family in the dark, will meet with detectives in the coming days to be given an update on the investigation.
"I want to find out if there are new leads for them to chase. I want to know what is being done. I intend to get answers on these matters this week," Mr Alves said.
"In terms of the investigation, and the parent's hopes for justice, last week was a lost week."
Earlier this month, the McCann's official spokesman said the couple wanted proof their daughter is dead, and continued to hope she was alive "until they can be shown incontrovertible evidence which proves that she is not".
Mr Wolters said German police "really consider the fact that it is going to be very hard for the family when we tell them that we assume Madeleine is dead".
"But we can't say why she is dead - it is more important that we are successful and we are able to get the culprit as opposed to just putting our cards on the table and telling them why we think she might be," he said.
"This is a murder case, not a missing persons case. We have been quite clear throughout we are investigating a murder and we have evidence for that.
"We can understand the pain of the parents - and they want relief - but it is better for them that we have a clear and successful conclusion to the case.
"To reveal too many details too early would hamper ongoing investigations."
Christian Brueckner, who was jailed for raping a 72-year-old American tourist in Portugal's Praia da Luz last year, was named by prosecutors on June 5 on suspicion of murder.
The 43-year-old German 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.
Originally published as Agonising letter confirms worst for Maddie