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Convicted Child Murderer New Suspect In Madeleine McCann Case

A serial killer and paedophile is being investigated over the disappearance of Madeleine McCann 12 years ago. 

The three-year-old British girl vanished from an apartment in the Portuguese city of Praia da Luz while on holiday with her parents in 2007.

Now, police are investigating German national Martin Ney, 48, as a suspect in the case. He was jailed for life in 2012 for abducting and murdering three children and sexually abusing 40 more.

Goncalo Amaral, the former Portuguese police officer who first led the McCann investigations, revealed Ney as a person of interest to media just last week.

Martin Ney
Martin Ney was jailed for life in 2012. Image: Twitter/Niklas Ericson

Clarence Mitchell, the McCann family spokesperson, told The Telegrah it was "quite possible" Ney could be the culprit.

"There is a degree of credibility it is Ney but we cannot speculate," Mitchell said.

"Ney has been previously interviewed by detectives over Madeleine's abduction and denied it. He is in a German jail now."

It's believed Ney was working on a church project in Portugal when Madeleine disappeared, and it's said he was familiar with the Praia da Luz area after travelling there extensively during the 1990s.

Ney also resembles a photofit issued in 2013, and matches the description of a man seen acting suspiciously before Madeleine disappeared.

Photo of suspect released in 2013. Image: AAP Photos.

Ney murdered three German children -- Stefan Jahr, 13, in 1992, Dennis Rostel, eight, in 1995, and Dennis Klein, nine, in 2001 -- and is believed to be linked to two more, in 1998 and 2004.

Ney preyed on young boys, but police have continued to consider him a person of interest in the McCann case.

Scotland Yard currently has a small team of detectives continuing to investigate Madeleine's disappearance.

READ MORE: Controversial Madeleine McCann Doco Claims She's Still Alive

Madeleine McCann
Madeleine would have turned 16 later this month. Image: AAP Photos

The new suspect was announced as the 12th anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance passed on May 3.

Madeleine would have turned 16 on May 12.

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au