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Gerry McCann, the father of Madeleine McCann, has described his terror and panic when he realised that his daughter was missing.
Speaking in a rare interview, McCann said that his reaction was "almost feral" when he discovered that his toddler daughter was nowhere to be found.
"We gave someone an opportunity. We let her down. I was sure she had been abducted.
"I remember just being in the bedroom - the two of us just completely distraught. It was almost feral, the reaction and the pain, feeling helpless, alone.
"We started searching more widely really quickly and then very quickly raised the alarm. You're in this quiet little holiday resort - that seemed idyllic - out of season and I certainly didn't speak Portuguese so I asked (our friend) Matt to go to reception and ask them to call the police."
At the time of her disappearance, her parents Gerry and Kate were at a nearby restaurant having dinner with friends.
The McCanns have not given up hope of being reunited with their daughter, who would now be 14 years old.
"It's almost like an instinctive reaction...it's just a feeling...but I do feel we will be reunited," said Gerry. "I just want to hug her and hold her and cry... a lot.
"There's never a day goes by I don't think about Madeleine and what might have happened. I have dreamt about her, including in the last few months, but it's not frequent. They're painful when they happen."
Gerry added that he has drawn strength from their other two children, twins Sean and Amelie, who were just babies in the same room as Maddie when she disappeared and are now 13 years of age.
He also criticised the Portuguese police for their slow response to the disappearance of their daughter.
"It was devastating and no one was in control or giving us advice," he added. "I was expecting a Metropolitan type response. We couldn't eat or sleep, it was like a sickness with the fear and anxiety manifesting in physical symptoms, and we just cried.
"It was impossible and unbearable, the whole journey was like something out of a horror movie, like a nightmare.
"I completely lost faith in the Portuguese police and there was an orchestrated media campaign that made us guilty and had a huge impact on us. We were struggling so much it was hard to support each other
"It was touch and go and there were days when you felt you were going under."
The interview comes as detectives have applied for more funding to continue the investigation into the little girl's disappearance.
Home Office funding for the Operation Grange, the name of the investigation, was expected to run out at the end of September.
But now the Home Office has confirmed that it is 'considering' an application for funding to continue for another six months.
A Home Office spokesperson said: "We have received and are considering a request to extend funding for Operation Grange until the end of March 2019."
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