Revealed: The nanny who could help clear the McCanns' nameLast updated at 14:50 14 October 2007
The nanny: Catriona Baker poses in her Mark Warner T-shirt
For five months the identity of the Mark Warner employee who was looking after Madeleine in Praia da Luz's Kids Club in the hours before her disappearance has been a closely held secret.
She was witness to the McCanns' movements during the week they were on holiday in Portugal and fed Madeleine less than three hours before she disappeared.
On the morning after Madeleine's disappearance it is believed she even told Portuguese police of a man she had seen acting 'suspiciously' around the apartments.
Today we can reveal her identity as 20-year-old Catriona Baker, the daughter of a nurse and draughtsman from Manchester.
The McCanns believe Ms Baker is a key witness in the defence that they are assembling with the aid of a team of lawyers and investigators.
Ms Baker has told friends she is convinced of the McCanns' innocence.
She is still in contact with Kate McCann and was said by friends to have been hit hard by her charge's disappearance, even being offered trauma counselling by Mark Warner Holidays.
Intriguingly, Ms Baker revealed to one friend - spoken to by this newspaper - that she told Portuguese police of a man she saw acting strangely near the apartments in the days leading up to Madeleine's disappearance on May 3.
Read more...She was interviewed for just three hours by police on the morning after Madeleine's disappearance. This compares with the four-and-a-half hours endured by Charlotte Pennington, another nanny at the resort who was witness to Kate's 'hysterical' reaction to Madeleine's disappearance.
The Mail on Sunday has also learned that within 24 hours of that interview Ms Baker was dispatched by Mark Warner to take up a new position in the Greek resort of San Agostino along with four other members of staff.
They were all linked to the seven holidaymakers who had eaten in the resort's tapas restaurant with Kate and Gerry McCann on the night of Madeleine's disappearance.
It is believed Ms Baker has since been reinterviewed by both British and Portuguese police but she has been told not to comment on the investigation.
The young nanny, described as 'fun and vivacious', has been deeply affected by Madeleine's disappearance, telling friends of nights without sleep and a complete loss of appetite.
Writing to one concerned friend nine days after Madeleine disappeared, she admitted: 'I was her nanny, so it's been tough for me, you wouldn't recognise me.
'It's hit me so hard I've hardly slept or eaten. My mum came to see me, but transferring me to "San Ag" has put me back at stage one as I am so stressed again.
'Love you loads, thanks for writing. I'm sorry I haven't been in touch, I have not been out of the house much.'
To another she added: 'Thanks so much for your support ... I am trying to cope, but not really liking "San Ag"... I don't plan on staying here.
If they don't send me back to Portugal. I'll go home.'
She had been introduced to Gerry and Kate McCann on the first evening of their holiday at the Ocean Club resort as Madeleine's designated nanny and had developed a 'good relationship with the couple and especially with Madeleine', according to a friend.
On the day Madeleine disappeared Ms Baker had spent nearly six hours with the toddler, along with five other children aged between three and five. Two of those are believed to have been the children of the McCanns' friends, David and Fiona Payne.
Madeleine and her two-year-old twin siblings, Sean and Amelie, were placed in the resort's Kids Club, where Ms Baker worked, at around 10am while their parents took a stroll before collecting them at 12.30pm for lunch back at the apartment.
In the afternoon, the McCanns played tennis while Madeleine went back to her nanny at the children's club, who gave her tea at 5.30pm. Madeleine, Sean and Amelie were picked up by their parents at 6pm.
Ms Baker was not with the McCanns when the alarm was sounded over Madeleine's disappearance just before 10pm. However, she joined the search shortly after 11pm after completing her duties as a night babysitter.
Mark Warner did not return Ms Baker to Portugal from Greece and she has since left the company. She is now a live-in nanny looking after three children. Her location is being withheld on the request of the McCanns.
Ms Baker refused to comment about the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance, adding: 'I don't want to go through it again.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-487506/Revealed-The-nanny-help-clear-McCanns-name.html#ixzz1ISmibJPl