14/08/2014 12:55 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Madeleine McCann Suspect 'Was Hotel Worker Who Died Four Years Ago'

Undated family handout photo of three-year-old Madeleine McCann who went missing while on holiday in Portugal.

Portuguese police believe the man they suspect of kidnapping Madeleine McCann was a hotel worker who died in a tractor accident four years ago.

According to a Portuguese newspaper, the 40-year-old was a former employee at the Ocean Club Holiday complex that the McCanns stayed at in Praia da Luz.

The newspaper Correio da Manha said police identified him as their main suspect because mobile phone records revealed he was around the McCanns' holiday apartment when Madeleine disappeared on May 3 2007.

The apartment is a 15-minute drive away from the town of Lagos where the unnamed suspect was living at the time after he stopped working at the Ocean Club.

The newspaper claimed that police suspicions about the man arose during the review of the case carried and led to the case being reopened.

According to the report - widely picked up by news outlets in the UK - the man was not on the list of employees handed over to police during the initial investigation by the Ocean Club because at the time of Madeleine's disappearance he was not working there.

It described his departure from the Ocean Club as 'frictious' and added that possible motives that may have caused the man to kidnap Madeleine are being investigated.

According to the newspaper: "The suspect could have taken the child to commit a sex crime before killing her.

"But he could also have committed the kidnap as a form of retaliation against the Ocean Club.

"His aim could have been to call into question the security of the holiday club but something went wrong and the youngster disappeared."

Portuguese police declined to comment on the reports today which was written by three journalists including a senior reporter, who gave evidence recently at the ongoing libel trial the McCanns have brought against lead investigator Goncalo Amaral over a controversial July 2008 book he wrote accusing them of faking their daughter's abduction to cover up her death.