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PAEDO’S DEN

Madeleine McCann suspect Christian B ‘modified VW camper van to hide child & lived in it above hidden cellar’

MADELEINE McCann suspect Christian B modified his VW camper van to make able to hide a child, it is feared.

The paedophile lived in the vehicle above a basement at an allotment in Hanover around the time three-year-old Madeleine disappeared.

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Police towing away a skip filled with evidence from the site
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Police towing away a skip filled with evidence from the site Credit: Getty Images - Getty
Soil and debris from the site by cops
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Soil and debris from the site by cops Credit: AP:Associated Press
Christian B has been named as the main suspect in the youngster's disappearance
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Christian B has been named as the main suspect in the youngster's disappearanceCredit: Bild
The 43-year-old paedophile is said to have adapted this VW camper van
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The 43-year-old paedophile is said to have adapted this VW camper van Credit: EPA
Madeleine McCann went missing in 2007 while on holiday with her family
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Madeleine McCann went missing in 2007 while on holiday with her familyCredit: AP:Associated Press
Officers were pictured carrying bags away from the site as part of the probe
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Officers were pictured carrying bags away from the site as part of the probeCredit: EPA

The hidden cellar at the site in Seelze, Hanover used by the 43-year-old has remained untouched since she disappeared in 2007, locals said yesterday.

In dramatic developments yesterday, cops removed two skips full of concrete blocks and a child’s bucket.

Christian B once boasted he could have used his VW campervan to transport children.

Dein Ghafou, who owned a garage complex Hanover used by Christian B, told how he was visited by police investigating Madeleine’s disappearance.

“I told them he had been working on a ­Volkswagen Camper here and he would lift the roof up and then make it smaller again," he told the Mirror.

“He was always cutting the roof, raising it and then lowering it. He came and went here.

“We really didn’t notice, we didn’t realise he was a complete ­criminal. If we had known he was like that we would not let him come and go so often.

“He said he had lived in Portugal at some point but I was not interested and did not ask him any more.”

'ADAPTED VAN'

Neighbours of Christian B at the allotment said he lived in the VW LT camper van in 2006 and 2007.

"He had two dogs with him and a VW LT transporter," a pensioner told Bild.

In a new twist to the probe, another possible cellar has been uncovered at a second allotment rented by the suspect.

Cops could swoop on the site after the terrified woman who lives there now begged them to investigate saying: "I’m worried I am sleeping on a dead body.”

Strained looking officers were pictured standing on the site on Wednesday afternoon rubbing their face as the dig took its toll.

Neighbours told how Christian B, who has a history of 17 child sex offences, lived off-grid at the site.

He told them he wanted to insulate a small shack standing on a concrete base in the 15ft plot.

The structure was mysteriously demolished shortly after he left the site in 2007 or 2008, with no visible sign of the cellar left.

But it was finally uncovered yesterday afternoon by 100  police and forensics teams, who have spent days using dogs, diggers and underground radar equipment.

Wolfgang Kossack, 73, who owns a neighbouring plot, said Christian B told him he lived “off grid” at the time and no one knew he was there.

He would often be seen with a girlfriend and stayed in a VW Transporter parked next to the site.

CELLAR DISCOVERY

Mr Kossack said: “He never did any gardening or tried to grow anything. He just sat around drinking beer.”  

Locals claimed there had been no new tenants since he disappeared. One claimed the plot had “been untouched since 2007”.

The development comes a month after the owner of an allotment Christian B rented 45 miles away in Braunschweig claimed he wanted to build a “Fritzl cell” under her land.

Pals have previously said they and Christian B would joke about him emerging as a suspect, saying: "Maddie’s downstairs in the cellar. Come on Christian, get Maddie out of the cellar."

Mr Kossack said he appeared to have plans to insulate the cellar, and was "trying to cut himself off and hide from society".

Cops were tipped off about his use of the Hanover allotment by another tenant who saw a German crime show last month featuring Madeleine’s 2007 disappearance while on holiday in Praia da Luz.

He never did any gardening or tried to grow anything. He just sat around drinking beer.

Allotment neighbour

The site is three miles from where a sex worker’s dismembered body was found in 2010.

Christian B was questioned over the murder but never charged.

Yesterday police removed the skips crammed with rubble, the bucket and old plates.

Prosecutors confirmed the search was in connection to Madeleine’s disappearance.

Sources had said the operation was likely to come to an end today after the significant discovery of the cellar and retrieval of key evidence.

By evening police had packed up digging equipment and cordons keeping away the public were also relaxed.

Prosecutors today confirmed the police search at the allotment had come to an end.

A spokeswoman for the Braunschweig prosecutor's office did not give any further details on the specific motive for the search or what exactly police found.

POLICE PROBE

Meanwhile, a neighbour at his former apartment block four miles away  in the city of Hanover said police had been searching public gardens there.

The flats are next to a school with its playground visible from most windows.

The mother, who has lived there 15 years, said: “Last week there was a police  helicopter overhead plus two tents on the street.

Police were very busy in the gardens opposite. They seemed to be looking for something.  They wouldn’t say what they were doing but it makes sense now knowing that he lived here.

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“Christian is remembered for selling weed. His block always stank of cannabis. He was the local dealer.”

He was said to be a  mechanic at the time and rented a garage at Euro Hobbywerkstatt a few miles from the  allotment.

The garage owner said Met Police officers had quizzed him over a workspace Christian B rented and took away paperwork relating to him.

He was nicknamed "the screwdriver" because he always smelled of oil and petrol.

Last month an allotment owner in Braunschweig claimed her tenant Christian B told her he wanted to build a “Fritzl cell” under her land.

Evil  Josef Fritzl fathered seven children with daughter Elisabeth while keeping their family captive for 24 years in Austria. 

The woman  said: “There was a hole in the floor inside the allotment house.

“One day he told me he wanted to put clear plastic over it. I said, ‘What the hell for? Just so you can look down into a dirty old cellar?’

In retrospect I think he wanted to build a Fritzl cellar.”

It has also been previously reported that Christian B laughed when friends joked about him keeping Madeleine in his basement — while boasting  that police had no evidence on him.

GARAGE QUIZ

By Ben Leo

BRITISH cops have questioned the owner of a garage where Christian B worked as a car mechanic.

Met Police officers investigating Madeleine McCann’s disappearance left with all paperwork relating to the German paedophile earlier this year.

Christian B rented a garage at Euro Hobbywerkstatt in Hanover, a few miles from the allotment currently being excavated.

He was ­nicknamed “the ­screwdriver” because he always smelled of oil and petrol.

The owner said yesterday detectives “took away everything” to do with him.

He is currently in jail in Kiel for drugs crimes.

German police say they have evidence proving Madeleine is dead.

But they have refused to give details to her parents Gerry and Kate from Rothley, Leics.

Police have now ended their search of the site
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Police have now ended their search of the siteCredit: Paul Edwards - The Sun
Cops have spent two days digging up the allotment in Hanover
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Cops have spent two days digging up the allotment in HanoverCredit: AP:Associated Press
Skips were filled with items from the police dig
Skips were filled with items from the police dig
Mysterious phone call to Maddie suspect Christian B 'made from directly outside building where she was snatched', German cops fear
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