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Madeleine McCann - 'We Will Never Forgive Ourselves' Say Her Parents

By Michelle Duffy     May 25, 2007 in World
As the hunt for the missing four year old creeps into it's fourth week, her parents speak of the anguish of leaving her alone with her siblings that fateful evening
Kate and Gerry McCann have spoken to the BBC about probably the most bitterest pill they have yet swallowed - allowing their children to sleep alone in their apartment whilst they dined on the other side of their resort.
In a straight talking interview, they have spoken of their 'guilt' for leaving her alone, when she would not have disappeared had she not been left in the apartment, no matter how many times the parents went back to check on her.
However they talked about it being "every parents worst nightmare," they have still said that thousands of parents would have done the same. I think not, actually, but then again, I could be on my own in this argument. Since having a child only two years older than the missing Madeleine, I can safely say, with hand on heart, that I would not have, under no circumstances, left my child alone.
Yet there could well be a faint glimmer of hope at the end of their darkest tunnel as police have informed the press only in the last hour that they are now looking for a suspect, said to be a white male, in his late thirties. The suspect is said to have been seen around the complex the night that she vanished.
The McCann's still hang on to the thought that their child may well be found safe and well, still.
Her father remains particularly hopeful in a certain train of thought, he said,
"If anything really bad had happened we would have found her by now."
Her mother, Kate hasn't let go of Maddie's favourite toy, 'Cuddle Cat,' since her disappearance. She says that they both need to hang on to the thought that she could still be alive.
From a family holiday which was meant to be relaxing and full of enjoyment for all, it has turned into the most unbelievable situation.
Her parents had dined that evening at a local Tapas bar a few yards away from the apartment. Thinking that in a resort, the children would be safe, Kate and Gerry didn't expect anything would happen to the children that night. Despite checking on he children every half an hour, Madeleine still disappeared. Some still believe that the children all under the age of three at the time, should not have been left alone in the first place.
They have both since praised the police for their quick response despite bitter jibes from the press that the Portuguese didn't know what they were doing, but yet, they say the hardest time of all is the first 48 hours.
Mr McCann told the BBC,
"It took us back to the darkest places that we didn't want to do and ultimately doesn't help you. The worst feeling was helplessness and being completely out of control of anything in terms of getting Madeleine back."
They have now, however, taken on board the responsibility of leaving the children alone that night and are fully aware of what they had actually done. A disappearance that actually could have been avoided. They said,
"No-one will ever feel as guilty as we do over the fact that we weren't with Madeleine at the time when she was abducted. Whether we were in the bedroom next door we would still feel as guilty."
Mr McCann had likened the bar where he and his wife ate that night in relation to the apartment like having dinner in your own back garden.
Perhaps this is a fair point, however, the fact still remains that at least, in your own back garden, there aren't strangers lurking ready to snatch your child....
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