Kate McCann has spoken about the £11million cost of the operation to find her daughter Madeleine, who disappeared from their holiday apartment in Portugal 10 years ago, and the abuse she and her husband Gerry have suffered at the hands of internet trolls.
“You always do feel guilty as the parent of a missing child – that other families haven’t had the publicity and the money, and I know there’s reasons why that happened,” she told Fiona Bruce in a BBC interview.
“But I guess the positive is that it has certainly brought the whole issue of missing children to the forefront and I think people have benefited in many ways.”
Her heart consultant husband Gerry added: “I think some of that criticism is really quite unfair actually, because I know it’s a single missing child but there are other crimes that came to light following Madeleine’s abduction, that involved British tourists, so I think prosecuting it to a reasonable end is what you would expect.”
The couple have been bracing themselves for the 10-year anniversary, which they describe as a “horrible marker of time, stolen time.”
They also spoke about receiving horrific messages from internet trolls, many of whom have criticised them for leaving their three children alone while they dined with friends nearby that night.
“I think it has been shocking,” said Kate. “That aspect of human nature that I hadn’t really encountered before.”
She described the online abuse as “quite hard really to get your head round”.
Kate added: “Why would somebody write that? Why would somebody add to someone’s upset – why would someone in a position of ignorance do something like that?”
The couple admitted that they were worried their twins Sean and Amelie, 12, would come across some of the hurtful comments.
“We have been as open with them as we can,” said Gerry.
“We have told them that people are writing things that are simply untrue.”
Last week, Scotland Yard said it has a “significant line of inquiry” to pursue in the case of Madeleine’s disappearance.
Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley said: “There are critical lines of inquiry of great interest to ourselves and our Portuguese counterparts, and there are some significant investigative avenues we are pursuing that we see as very worthwhile.”