In June, prosecutors in Germany announced that the youngster – who vanished in 2007 – is “assumed to be dead” and opened a murder investigation into a 43-year-old German man, named as Christian B, following an appeal for information from police in Britain, Germany and Portugal. Last week, police in Portugal probed three wells in Vila do Bispo – just a 10-minute drive from the Ocean Club resort Maddie vanished from in Praia da Luz – and reportedly have plans to search 20 more, but German police say they failed to tell their prosecutors about the details of the dives. Relationships between officials investigating the case have already been strained as Scotland Yard continues to treat their investigation as a “missing persons” case and stated that German authorities have not revealed evidence that Maddie is dead.
Kate and Gerry have always supported the theory that Maddie was snatched by an opportunist criminal working in the local area and some reports have indicated that the new prime suspect may have been tipped off by a hotel employee about British tourists leaving valuables in their apartments while going out for long dinners.
In her book, ‘Madeleine: Our Daughter’s Disappearance and the Continuing Search for Her,’ Kate recalled the “puzzling” events of the day before her daughter disappeared and a conversation that left her “disconcerted”.
She wrote: “On Thursday, May 3 I awoke in the children’s bedroom. I can’t remember who was up first but I know we had all surfaced by about 7:30am.
“At breakfast time, Madeleine had a question for us – ‘why didn’t you come when Sean and I cried last night?’
“We were puzzled, did she mean when they were having their bath? we asked them, or just after they’d gone to bed?
“Children often get a bit fractious around bedtime, though I had no recollection of any tears from either Madeleine or Sean before they settled the previous evening.
“It certainly hadn’t been in the early hours, because I’d been in the room with them, even closer than usual.”
Kate continued, revealing her fears that the children may have woken up while the group were out for dinner.
She added: “Madeleine didn’t answer or elaborate, instead she moved on to some other topic that had popped into her head, apparently unconcerned.
READ MORE: Madeleine McCann: What Kate ‘bitterly regrets’ about night of daughter’s disappearance
“She certainly didn’t seem to be at all anxious or upset. Madeleine is bright, articulate and has never been backwards in coming forward.
“If something had happened to make her cry, it was pretty unlikely that she wouldn’t tell us about it, assuming she remembered what it was.
“Gerry and I were disconcerted, could Madeleine and Sean have woken up while we were at dinner? If so it was worrying, obviously, but it didn’t seem probable.
“If they had done so on this occasion, it would mean they’d woken up, cried for a while, calmed themselves down and fallen asleep again – all within the space of half an hour, or 45 minutes if it had been our last check.”
During their stay at the holiday resort in Portugal, the parents and their seven friends had “collectively decided” to do their “own child-checking service” when they were at the resort’s nearby tapas restaurant for dinner.
Sitting just metres away from the apartments, the group would take it in turns to go check on their children.
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But Kate revealed her fears that something “sinister” may have happened during the half-an-hour to 45 minutes that they were left alone, but added that it seemed “implausible”.
She continued: “Children usually need some soothing back to sleep once they’ve woken, especially if two of them are awake and upset at the same time, and it seemed highly unlikely they’d have gone through all these stages without one of them overlapping with one of our checks.
“It wasn’t impossible, but it seemed implausible.
“Not for a moment did we think there might be some sinister reason for this occurrence, if indeed anything had occurred.
“If only foresight came as easily to us as hindsight. Within hours, the explanation for this would seem hugely important and so haunted have I been ever since by Madeleine’s words that morning.”
It was that evening, Thursday, May 3, 2007, that Maddie would disappear from Apartment 5A, just days before her fourth birthday.
Madeleine: Our daughter’s disappearance and the continuing search for her’ was published by Transworld Publishers Ltd and is available here.