Madeleine McCann went missing on a family holiday to Portugal in 2007. She was just three years old.
There has never been a credible sighting of her since.
Eleven years later, her father has given a rare and heart-wrenching interview discussing the pain immediately after she went missing.
“We started searching more widely really quickly and then very quickly raised the alarm,” he said in an interview with BBC Radio 4.
“You’re in this quiet little holiday resort — that seemed idyllic — out of season and I certainly didn’t speak Portuguese so I asked (our friend) Matt to go to reception and ask them to call the police,” he added.
Gerry McCann revealed that as they searched for her he couldn’t help but dread the worst.
“I couldn’t get the darkest thoughts out of our minds, that somebody had taken her and abused her,” he said in the interview.
“I felt that every moment that we couldn’t find her was worse.
“I remember being slumped on the floor and starting to call some of my family members and just saying, ‘Pray for her’,” he added.
In December last year, Kate McCann wrote a heartbreaking letter for the Telegraph, revealing she still buys Christmas presents for her little girl.
“The presents I buy for her usually have to jump out at me,” McCann wrote.
“She would be a teenager now so I always try and pick something that would be suitable and enjoyable for her no matter what age she is when she gets to open them,” she added.
“In my head I guess I just want everything for be right for her when she comes back home. The loft is filled with the presents I have bought for Madeleine and her wardrobe, too.”
A police request for more funding to find Madeline McCann is currently being considered in the United Kingdom.
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