"Every day, it's very hard without Madeleine, and we all miss her so much. It certainly feels like there's a big void in our life without her."
Little Madeleine McCann's mother, Kate McCann, summed up the feelings of her and her husband, Gerry McCann, Madeleine's father, in an interview in late August. It was done in Lisbon, Portugal, with reporter Mirna Schindler of Chile's Television Nacional, for "Informe Especial" -- their 60 Minutes.
Madeleine vanished from her parents' vacation villa in Portugal five months ago, and Kate and Gerry, who live in England, have been named suspects in the disappearance by Portuguese authorities. They adamantly deny any involvement.
The Television Nacional interview was the last they gave before being named suspects. British and Portuguese law bars them from granting interviews, now that they're officially under suspicion. But they did give an interview to a local British newspaper recently.
The Early Show has exclusive United States rights to the Chilean network's interview, and is showing it in two parts. One aired Friday, and the other will be broadcast Monday.
Gerry McCann told Schindler, "I'm sure most people can imagine how bad it was that first night ... how terrifying it was and, as most parents would say, the parents' worst nightmare.
"The key thing that we're trying to do is trying to channel all of our emotions and energy into influencing a search for Madeleine, and that's what drives us forward."
Madeleine is "pretty," Kate said. " ... She's very sociable, very engaging. She's bright and funny. She does have a sense of danger there."
"Mm-hmm," Gerry agreed.
"Even though she's very young," Kate continued. "She does have a sense of danger."
"We're clearly biased," Gerry admitted, "but Madeleine is as close to the perfect child as you could get, you know, for someone who is so young, less than four when she was taken. She really is amazing. Nothing like this has ever happened -- and I mean, going with anyone she didn't know, for example."
The McCanns say they had left Madeleine and her younger, twin siblings asleep in the rented villa while they had dinner nearby. Despite an extensive search and international publicity effort led by Kate and Gerry, no confirmed trace Madeleine has turned up.
What, Schindler asked, was the first thing that crossed their minds when they came back to the room from dinner and realized that Madeleine wasn't there?
"I knew straight away she'd been taken," Kate replied.
"At the first moment?" Schindler asked.
"Well," Kate responded, "put it this way: I mean, she hadn't walked out of the apartment."
"When I got there," Gerry said, "and Kate told me, and when I looked at the scene as well, I had absolutely no doubt. But, you know, our immediate reaction was to double and triple check, and we did do that, both in the apartment and in the vicinity. And then we said, 'Call the police.' And one of our friends alerted both the resort manager and the police."
Are they relying on the expertise of Portuguese police?
"Well, we have to rely on them," Gerry answered. "They are the investigating police force. Of course, the investigation, we've stated all along, has the most likely chance of us finding her.
"There's still no evidence of serious harm to Madeleine that we know of, and that gives us hope and gives us hope that she could still be alive."
Kate said, "It really isn't easy," coping. "Some days are better than others. ... There's days when you think, 'I can't do this anymore,' and you just want to press a button, and we're all gone, and it's all finished, and we're all together and gone. Wherever. But you can't, you know. Just occasionally you'll have a -- if you're having a really bad day, which we do. And you can't help but think that."
Kate constantly carries around a stuffed animal she said "was Madeleine's favorite cuddly toy, and, you know, she took it to bed with her every night, or if she was tired or not feeling very well, she always had it as a comfort. And, I suppose, it was special to Madeleine, so it's special to me, really, and I just feel a bit closer to her" holding it.
On Monday, The Early Show will air portions of the interview in which the McCanns revealed what their lives have been like since it was first suggested that Madeleine may no longer be alive, and that they might be involved in her disappearance.
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