A nanny who helped look after Madeleine McCann in Portugal has spoken out to share her experience of the night the toddler disappeared.
The childminder, who asked not to be named, was on the childcare team with Catriona Baker, the main nanny allocated to the family.
Madeleine vanished from her bedroom at a Praia de Luz resort in the Algarve on May 3, 2007. Ten years and thousands of ‘sightings’ later, police are no closer to finding the child.
Recalling the night Madeleine disappeared, the child carer said she only realised how serious the situation was when she and other staff members at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz, were asked to search rubbish bins in the resort as Madeleine’s father Gerry checked under cars. Kate McCann stood nearby crying “They’ve taken her.”
“That’s the one thing I really remember from him, looking under the cars. I can’t forget that,” she told the Daily Mirror.
“We were told to start looking in bins in case her body was in there. It was at that point we realised this was serious.”
The nanny claims the resort had a reputation for being unsafe and said that staff had been given rape alarms and warned to be extra cautious.
Remembering the frantic search for the missing toddler, the nanny said police didn’t arrive at the scene for at least 90 minutes. She also claims that no effort was made to preserve the scene for forensic examination:
“I know I didn’t step into that apartment but pretty much everybody else did. So, evidence gone, nothing. There was nobody there to say, ‘We need to lock this off now’,” she told the newspaper.
The nanny claims that parts of a five-page statement she gave to the Portugese police were not passed on to the Metropolitan Police.
Ten years on, she revealed she can’t get over the disappearance: “It’s probably very naive, but the best case scenario of a very horrible situation, is that she was procured and taken for a rich person who didn’t have children.
“I can’t go anywhere else in my head.”
The childcare worker said she is still shocked at suggestions that Kate and Gerry McCann had anything to do with their daughter’s disappearance and stands up for the couple whenever she can:
She said: “I tell them no, there’s no way at all. A, timings and B, where it was, their reactions, the whole thing. Not a chance.”