Former nanny breaks silence about Madeleine McCann disappearance

Madeleine McCann disappeared from a Portugal hotel room in 2007, aged 3 (Getty)
Madeleine McCann disappeared from a Portugal hotel room in 2007, aged 3 (Getty)

A former nanny who took care of Madeleine McCann has spoken out about the night the little girl disappeared in Portugal in 2007.

She looked after Madeleine several times, and says she saw the girl's mother Kate crying and her father Gerry looking under cars.

"She was crying, but almost in a catatonic state, and Gerry was very distressed. That's the one thing I really remember from him, looking under the cars. I can't forget that," the unnamed woman told The 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 former nanny was part of a search party who looked around the Ocean Club Resort's bins, and pipes leading to the sea, as well as searching the streets nearby.

She told The Mirror she is furious with police, who she claimed took 90 minutes to arrive after the reported disappearance.

The woman stresses that there is no way that Madeleine's parents should be suspects in the case, and stands by their innocence.

"There's no way at all. A, timings and B, where it was, their reactions, the whole thing. Not a chance."

Madeleine McCann vanished while sleeping in a room with her twin sleeping.

Her parents were eating in a nearby restaurant, which the nanny says was "really normal" for parents to do while at the Ocean Club resort.

However, she said the resort was unsafe and shortly after she began working there she was told by fellow staff to never venture off the site alone, and was given a rape whistle to carry with her.

The former nanny still hopes that the girl is still alive, and that "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".

In October 2015, the case investigating Madeleine's disappearance was scaled down from 29 to four detectives.

The hunt to track her down has cost almost £12 million (NZ$21m) to date, and her parents say they will never give up hope of finding her.

They have consistently fought back against media reports and suggestions that they had a role to play in her disappearance.

In February the Portuguese Supreme Court ruled they had not proved they were innocent, and the McCanns fought back calling the ruling "nonsensical".