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McCann parents speak of guilt

By John Sparks

Updated on 25 May 2007

The Portuguese police have issued their first detailed description of a man they want to question in connection with the disappearance of four-year-old Madeleine McCann.

They're looking for a white man aged between 35 and 40. Before they made their appeal, Gerry and Kate McCann gave their first interviews since Madeleine's disappearance more than three weeks ago.

They spoke about their feelings of guilt that they were having a meal at a tapas bar when their daughter was abducted from their holiday apartment. But they compared this to having dinner in the garden at home with their children asleep upstairs.

Speaking about the decision to leave the children as they did Mr McCann added: "We've tried to rationalise things in our head but ultimately what's done is done, we have tried to look forward.

"If you think about the millions and millions of British families who go to the Mediterranean each year, really the chances of this happening are in the order of 100 million to one."

'The chances of this happening are in the order of 100 million to one'
Mr McCann

Visibly thinner

Mrs McCann, who appeared visibly thinner and more drawn by the end of the first week after Madeleine's abduction added: "The support we've had, through people, through prayer has made a huge difference.

"It's true to say the first two days we didn't eat much or sleep much but that was a few days and since then things have picked up and we have been able to be stronger.

Mr McCann spoke about the criticism the couple had received from some quarters.

"No-one hurts you as much as the hurt that we had but we have tried to remain very positive in our outlook and even small levels of criticism make that hard when you're trying to do everything in your power to get your daughter back."

Asked if things could have been done differently in the vitally important first few hours he said: "I think we are not looking at what has been done.

"I don't think it helps at this stage to look back at what could and couldn't have been done."

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