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Kate McCann, Madeleine McCann's Mother, Writes About 4-Year Search For Her Daughter

Madeleine Mccann

First Posted: 05/12/11 01:13 PM ET Updated: 07/12/11 06:12 AM ET

The mother of a British toddler who disappeared on a family vacation in Portugal has written a memoir about the fruitless search for her child in order to pay for the ongoing investigation.

Madeleine McCann was almost four when she was snatched from her family's hotel room in the Praia da Luz resort on May 7, 2007, while her parents dined with friends at a nearby restaurant.

Her mother, Kate McCann, released "Madeleine" on Thursday -- her daughter's eighth birthday -- in the hopes of sparking renewed interest in the case. In it, she reveals details of that night that may yet help solve the mystery of Madeleine's disappearance and discusses the toll the tragedy has taken on her and her family.

The ensuing years have been a living nightmare for Kate and her husband Gerry, who have struggled to maintain their marriage and provide a happy home for their twins, Sean and Amelie.

In her anguish, Kate has replayed the incidents leading up to her daughter's disappearance relentlessly.

In one passage she writes about something Madeleine said to her the day the 4-year-old disappeared that she dismissed as an off-hand remark at the time:

"Why didn't you come when Sean and I cried last night?" she recalls Madeleine having asked.

At one point, Portuguese authorities said the parents were suspects.

"It was an incredibly difficult period," Kate said on the "Today" show. "The main reasons for that was because of the negative impact it was having on the search for Madeleine.

"At that point, nobody was looking for her," she said. "As a parent, that's absolutely heartbreaking.'

Portuguese authorities later cleared the parents, but they also closed the case in 2008.

The McCanns have tried to keep the search going since then by hiring private investigators.

In the memoir, Kate reveals the guilt she felt for leaving her three children unattended while she and her husband went to dinner.

Gerry, who joined his wife on "Today," said the couple has repaired their relationship.

"I think we're back to where we were and our marriage is rock solid. We're united in the search for Madeleine and providing a happy and stable environment for our other children."

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Filed by Michael McLaughlin  |