The German prosecutor’s office said on Thursday that they presume that Madeleine McCann, the British girl who disappeared in southern Portugal 13 years ago, is dead. However, her parents still hold out hope that her daughter will be found alive. McCann was 3 years old at the time of his disappearance from an apartment while his family vacationed in the coastal town of Praia da Luz in Portugal’s Algarve region, in 2007.La police in Germany reported on Wednesday that they had identified a suspect, a 43-year-old German citizen currently imprisoned in his home country for a sexual offence. They didn’t name him. The suspect spent numerous years in Portugal, including Praia da Luz, at the time of McCann’s disappearance, and has two previous convictions for «sexual contact with girls». Police in Portugal and the UK confirmed the new leadership in the long-standing case. They did not explain why, after so many years, suspicion had fallen on the German man, who was registered in the German city of Braunschweig before moving abroad. Hans Christian Wolters, a prosecutor in Braunschweig, Germany, told reporters that the man is being investigated on suspicion of murder.» It can be inferred from that that we assume that the girl is dead,» Wolters said. The development, though bleak, raised hopes that the mystery surrounding the case will eventually be resolved. Authorities had never before provided so much detailed information about any suspect during the years of investigation into the disappearance of the child, who received worldwide attention. Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, said on their website www.findmadeleine.com that their hope of seeing their daughter again had not faded.» All we have ever wanted is to find it, discover the truth and bring those responsible to justice,» wrote the couple, who live in the UK. «We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive, but whatever the outcome, we need to know that we need to find peace.» Wolters, the prosecutor, gave no further details about the suspect’s identity so as not to jeopardize the ongoing investigation. German police said the suspect, described as white with short blond hair and a thin build, was linked to a motorhome seen in the Portuguese Algarve region in 2007.La Portuguese, British and German police called for the public’s help to build his case against the suspect, asking people if they remember seeing him in or around Praia da Luz 13 years ago. Her parents say Madeleine disappeared after leaving her and her twin siblings sleeping in their resort while dining with friends at a nearby restaurant. Christian Hoppe, of the Federal Bureau of Criminal Police of Germany, told the station ?? German public ZDF that the police do not rule out a sexual motive. He said whoever kidnapped the girl may have broken into the holiday apartment and then committed the kidnapping spontaneously. Hoppe said the suspect in the McCann case lived between Lagos and nearby Praia da Luz, and was regularly in the Algarve region between 1995 and 2007.La description of the suspect fits that of a 43-year-old man who was convicted in December 2005 of the rape of a 72-year-old American woman in his apartment in Portugal , reported the local German newspaper Braunschweiger Zeitung.The newspaper said that the physical description provided by the German authorities and other details match the defendant in the 2005 rape attack, which was recently linked to the case by DNA. The suspect denied the charges during his trial and appealed his conviction. According to a copy of the rape verdict sent by the court in response to an AP question about the suspect’s trial in December, his other convictions were for sexual abuse of a child in 1994 and a case in 2016 when he was convicted of possession of child pornography. . Other convictions include drug trafficking, theft and gun violations.