Madeleine McCann’s father gives rare interview
THE father of missing girl Madeleine McCann has described the "disbelief" and "terror" after realising his daughter was missing, speaking in a rare interview.
The three-year-old disappeared while on a family holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 about the relationship between fathers and daughters, Gerry McCann said he hadn't thought about that day, May 3, for a long time because it was too "painful".
"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."
Maddie's disappearance is one of the most heavily reported missing person cases in the world, garnering international attention over the last 11 years.
UK Police recently requested more funding to extend Operation Grange to find the youngster, which launched in 2013.
Mr McCann told the BBC that he knew his daughter had been taken immediately.
"I couldn't get the darkest thoughts out of our minds, that somebody had taken her and abused her," he said.
"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.'"
The father said he remembers his wife Kate saying "it's so cold" while they waited "forever" for police to arrive.
"It just felt terrible," he said.
"We went then to another apartment, by which time it was three or four in the morning and Kate was saying, 'I want to go back out and search.'
In 2013, four people were identified as suspects however no action was taken.
The UK Home Office is currently considering a police request for more funding.