"I just want to hug her, to hold her, to cry": 11 years after she disappeared, Madeleine McCann's father insists she is still alive

Gerry McCann, the 50-year-old surgeon, said during the interview on BBC Radio 4 that he often has "painful" dreams about his little girl Madeleine McCann who disappeared in Portugal


                            "I just want to hug her, to hold her, to cry": 11 years after she disappeared, Madeleine McCann's father insists she is still alive

The father of Madeleine McCann, the three-year-old who went missing in 2007, appeared for an interview on television on Saturday and said that he believes his daughter is still alive and he will give her a cuddle when they are reunited. Maddie's disappearance sparked the world's biggest ever missing child mystery.

Gerry McCann, a 50-year-old surgeon, said during the interview on BBC Radio 4 that he often has "painful" dreams about his little girl who disappeared from her room during their family holiday in Portugal, according to the Daily Mail. The father said that it was "just a feeling" and an "instinctive reaction" that he will see his daughter one day again.

A picture of missing toddler Madeleine McCann is held by her aunt Philomena McCann as she gives television interviews after visiting Parliament on May 16, 2007, in London. Madeleine McCann disappeared from a holiday complex in Praia da Luz, Portugal 13 days ago. (Getty Images)
A picture of missing toddler Madeleine McCann is held by her aunt Philomena McCann as she gives television interviews after visiting Parliament on May 16, 2007, in London. Madeleine McCann disappeared from a holiday complex in Praia da Luz, Portugal 13 days ago. (Getty Images)

The cardiologist talked about his battle with mental health and how he was "completely distraught" and felt helpess in the early days of his daughter's disappearance. McCann said that he was in "shock, horror, panic, and terror" as he felt trapped in the darkest tunnel.

McCann, in the emotional interview, wept as he described how his life turned into "something out of a horror movie" after he and his wife realized that Maddie had been snatched from their holiday apartment over 11 years ago.

The surgeon said that when he realized that his daughter was gone, he was completedly distraught: "I remember just being in the bedroom – the two of us just completely distraught. It was almost feral, the reaction and the pain, feeling helpless, alone. I couldn’t get the darkest thoughts out of our minds that somebody had taken her and abused her."

Kate and Gerry McCann, the parents of the missing four-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann, hold up a picture of Madeleine during a press conference on June 6, 2007, in Berlin, Germany. Kate and her husband Gerry are in Berlin to spread the word in the search for their missing duaghter Madeleine who disappeared from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal on May 3, 2007. (Getty Images)
Kate and Gerry McCann, the parents of the missing four-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann, hold up a picture of Madeleine during a press conference on June 6, 2007, in Berlin, Germany. Kate and her husband Gerry are in Berlin to spread the word in the search for their missing duaghter Madeleine who disappeared from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal on May 3, 2007. (Getty Images)

Reports stated that the interview was broadcast just a day before Scotland Yard's funding to hunt Maddie is set to run out. Although Met Police had requested more monetary assistance from the Home Office to keep the search going, the request has not been approved yet.

Shortly after their daughter's disappearance, the couple came under suspicion of foul play as the Portuguese police thought that they had accidentally killed Maddie and were trying to cover up the incident. McCann said that during that period the pair had been "paddling furiously above the water trying to keep afloat but so close to drowning. We were just crumbling."

McCain added that even though time has eased their pain a bit they still suffer from nightmares about their daughter's disappearance.

McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell holds two artist's impression of the new suspect on January 20, 2008, in London, England. The description has come from British woman Gail Cooper, who was staying with her family close to the McCann's apartment in Portugal. (Getty Images)
McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell holds two artist's impression of the new suspect on January 20, 2008, in London, England. The description has come from British woman Gail Cooper, who was staying with her family close to the McCann's apartment in Portugal. (Getty Images)

"They are not as frequent but they are painful when it happens. I thought about it early on, if Madeleine was still, is still alive," McCann said referring to his nightmares in the hour-long drama 'Pearl: Two Fathers Two Daughters'.

Recalling the unfortunate day, McCann said that it was his idea to go on holiday to The Algarve with friends and he vividly remembered the ill-fated night - May 3, 2007, when his daughter disappeared.

"Kate came running back and raised alarm bells, saying 'Madeleine's missing, she's gone'. I said: 'She can't be gone'. I was completely in shock," the father said, adding that they searched the whole apartment where the three-year-old had been sleeping with her twin siblings Sean and Amelie. They looked everywhere "in the bedroom, checking everywhere even under the sink in the cupboards. It was disbelief, shock, horror and then the panic and terror." 

"I just want to hug her, to hold her to cry - a lot. Never a day goes by when I don't think of Madeleine. She was absolutely amazing and we had such an incredibly special relationship," McCann said sobbing in the rare interview.