A former nanny who watched over Maddie McCann and her siblings at the Portuguese resort where the little girl was last seen has broken her decade-long silence, and says she observed the reactions of police and the girl’s parents the night she vanished in May 2007.
The unidentified woman reportedly said police didn’t arrive to the scene for an hour and a half after a call was made to report the little girl missing. The three-year-old girl vanished from her bed in her family’s vacation apartment while her parents dined with friends at a tapas restaurant on the property, checking on the children periodically.
The former child care worker told The Mirror that she looked after Maddie McCann several times while her family was vacationing at the Praia da Luz resort, which she claims was so unsafe that she and her fellow nannies were warned not to walk outside alone and were given “rape alarms.”
While the nanny was not tending Maddie or her siblings the night she vanished, the witness says she was at the resort the night of May 3, 2007, and told the newspaper that nothing about Maddie’s parents’ reactions to their daughter’s disappearance suggested they had anything to do with it.
[Kate] 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.
She also said she believes that a delayed police response may have allowed hotel staff and guests to contaminate the crime scene.
I know I didn’t step into that apartment but pretty much everybody else did. So, evidence gone, nothing. There was nobody there to say, ‘We need to lock this off now.’ The police didn’t get there for ages, maybe an hour and a half, so we were looking for her. And at the end of the day, no matter how much you’ve been trained with children, we were children, mainly teenagers, we’re not police.
The nanny described Maddie as a “sweet” child and said she believes there is no chance Kate and Gerry McCann had anything to do with the girl’s disappearance. She also accused police of leaving out significant chunks of her original statement to authorities from the report they worked from.
“I think a lot of things should’ve happened differently,” she said. “Unfortunately the effects were catastrophic.”
A former Portuguese police chief, who was involved in the missing persons investigation in its early stages, published a book alleging that Maddie died accidentally while she was left alone with her siblings in the resort apartment, and that her parents covered up the death.
The Mirror interview does not address why no one at the resort had been hired to look after the McCann children if child care workers were available that night, though the nanny did tell the newspaper it was “normal” for vacationing parents to spend time on resort grounds while their children were sleeping in their rooms.
Photo: Police handout