On the anniversary of daughter Madeleine's disappearance, Kate and Gerry McCann spoke exclusively about the night the 3-year-old vanished without a trace while on a family vacation in Portugal.
Since January, the McCanns, who remain official suspects, have granted a British documentary crew unprecedented access inside their home and their lives. The filmmakers uncovered new details about what happened that night, as well as how the family is coping today.
The sensational story has been international front page news since the very first day Madeleine was discovered missing by her mother, Kate.
Sightings of the toddler have been reported from Australia to Chile. Gerry and Kate continue to investigate what they believe is her kidnapping by working with police and private investigators and launching an international media campaign to keep Madeleine's face recognizable around the world.
The McCanns and a few family friends were vacationing at an upscale resort called the Ocean Club, in Praia da Luz , Portugal.
At the end of each fun-filled day, the adults would tuck their children into bed and spend their evenings with each other at the resort's tapas bar, located about 50 yards from the apartments where their children were sleeping. They took turns checking on the children every 30 minutes.
"It was the fifth night," Kate said. "It was on the third check, which was my check, that I went [to the apartment] and discovered Madeleine had been taken. I rushed around the apartment really quickly just looking in cupboards and things, and then just went flying down [to] the tapas restaurant, shouting 'Someone's taken Madeleine!'"
The decision to leave their children unattended continues to haunt Gerry and Kate.
"I don't think there had ever been one second when anybody had said, 'do you think it's going to be OK?'" Kate said. "There was absolutely no way if I'd have had the slightest inkling that there was a risk involved there, that I'd have done it."
Gerry feels remorse, as well. "People will say that they've never done that, and who am I to argue? We have to live with the fact that we weren't directly there, and if we were, then possibly, probably, it wouldn't have happened."
Portuguese authorities were called within 10 minutes, and within 30 minutes, an investigation team was on the scene.
Kate recounted, "I can remember our friends shouting, 'You need to close the borders' and they were shouting 'Morocco, Algiers!' You know I can remember all this going on. 'And roadblock, we need roadblocks!'"
But there were no roadblocks, and no borders closed. According to news reports, from the beginning, police bungled the investigation: They thought the child had simply wandered off so they didn't seal off the area or interview neighbors, and their reportedly sloppy work left the scene contaminated.
Furthermore, on the night Madeleine disappeared, the police left the parents to search on their own.
But what of the criticism that the McCanns showed no emotion in the days just after Madeleine's disappearance? Gerry explained, "A numbness sort of kicked in, you can't have that raw emotion 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you just can't physically, you can't do it."
Kate was especially ridiculed by the media for being "poker face[d]," but she was instructed to do so. "We had like behavioral specialists. Profilers who were telling us not to show emotion in case the abductor gets a kick out of it."