A German prosecutor said they do not need the body of missing preschooler Madeleine McCann to prosecute the convicted pedophile they believe killed the British girl.

Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters told a Portuguese reporter for the RTP network on Friday that “to indict someone we don’t need a body.”

The assertion led to speculation that German authorities are poised to charge Christian Brueckner, a 43-year-old convicted pedophile and rapist, in the death of McCann, who disappeared from a Portuguese resort in May 2007.

“A person can be convicted without a body being found but we have to be convinced a person is dead,” said Wolters, adding that authorities may also have evidence that places Brueckner at the Algarve resort in southern Portugal where McCann, then just shy of her fourth birthday, disappeared from her family’s apartment.

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