Madeleine McCann's nanny breaks 10-year silence to describe torment of night she went missing

Madeleine McCann disappeared in May 2007 (Rex)

Madeleine McCann’s nanny has broken her silence about the night the three-year-old went missing in Portugal a decade ago.

The childminder, who worked at the Praia de Luz holiday resort, from where the youngster disappeared, said she “can’t forget” the image of her parents desperately searching for their daughter.

Speaking to the Mirror, the nanny, who has not been named, said Gerry McCann comforted his sobbing wife who cried: “They’ve taken her.”

She said: “A parent came to me and said there was something going on, and said someone’s looking for a child, I didn’t instantly think it was Maddie.

“A couple of minutes later I walked into Kate crying, friends comforting her, Gerry looking under cars, and it just blew up. I don’t even think she saw me. I just stood next to her and tried to comfort her.

Gerry and Kate McCann have refused to give up in their search for their daughter (Rex)

“She was pacing up and down. The worst possible thing had just happened to her.

“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 woman added that she was furious at police, who she says took 90 minutes to arrive on the scene.

She also said that the holiday destination was considered unsafe and that nannies had been told to carry rape alarms and not go out alone.

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“We were told, ‘Here’s a rape whistle, don’t go anywhere by yourself, ever.’

“There’d been a girl attacked the year or so before in Praia da Luz. It didn’t sound like a family resort to me.

“I just got the feeling the locals didn’t want us there,” she said.

The apartment from where Maddie went missing in 2007 (Rex)

She described Maddie as “a real cutie and a real sweetheart.”

Earlier in the year, a detective who spent three years searching for Madeleine McCann claimed her abductor must have told someone else about the crime — and that she may still be alive.

Dave Edgar, 60, who began working on the case in 2009, believes the kidnapper is being protected.

The Government is giving another £85,000 for operational costs to continue the Scotland Yard inquiry.