According to reports, Polish police are contesting a young woman’s claims that she is Madeleine McCann.
Julia Wendell, also known as Julia Faustyna or Julia Wendlet, gained national news last week after posting videos on social media. She sought to identify herself as the missing three-year-old daughter who went missing in 2007 while on vacation with her British family in Portugal.
The basis of Wendell’s “evidence” of physical likeness is McCann’s rare eye disease, which Wendell claims to have.
A coloboma anomaly in McCann’s right eye was used as a crucial distinguishing trait when she went missing. (A coloboma is a hole in the eye’s anatomy that often results in an apparent tear or hole.)
She also pointed out parallels between a dimple and several moles and freckles.
According to a translation verified by Global News, Piotr Noga from the Provincial Police Headquarters in Wroclaw told Polish source Gazeta late last week that they had “ruled out” the connection.
They did not explain how they came to their findings but stated that their inquiry was ongoing.
Wendell has stated that she is unsure of her identity and has few childhood memories.
Her videos have tens of thousands of subscribers.
“I don’t remember most of my childhood, but my earliest recollection is powerful, and it’s about holidays in a hot place where there was a beach and white or extremely light-colored buildings with apartments,” Wendell said on her Instagram account, @iammadeleinemccan.
Wendell’s family issued a statement last week stating they are “devastated” by the charges and the worldwide media exposure they have received.
“It is evident that Julia isn’t Maddie,” they said on the “Lost Years Ago” Facebook page, adding that their daughter has previously received therapy from doctors and psychiatrists but that this may have ceased recently.
“She opposes treatment and does not take her medications regularly… We are heartbroken by the current scenario.”
Wendell reported this week that McCann’s parents, Kate and Gerry, had agreed to a DNA test, but a family spokeswoman declined to confirm the assertion.
“Due to an ongoing police investigation, Gerry and Kate will not issue any statements or give interviews unless contacted by The Metropolitan Police,” an official Find Madeleine campaign representative told Fox.
Madeleine would be 19 years old if she were still alive. She is 21 years old but she is concerned that her age is inaccurate.
The online reaction to Wendell’s statements has been very divisive. Many people demand the Metropolitan Police in London look into her accusations, while others accuse Wendell of being a malicious fraudster.
Madeleine, a three-year-old girl, went missing from a hotel room in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3, 2007, while on vacation with her parents.
Her parents were out with friends at a nearby tapas bar when Madeleine vanished, leaving Madeleine and her two siblings asleep in their bedroom.
Her disappearance sparked a multi-state inquiry and sparked an international media frenzy.
For over a decade, police forces in Portugal, England, and Germany have worked together to find McCann and her kidnapper.
This year, German investigators stated “new evidence” linked McCann’s death to German native Christian Brückner. Brückner had a rape conviction, although he has yet to be charged. From 1995 to 2007, he lived in the Praia da Luz area.
Brückner is serving a seven-year sentence for raping a 72-year-old lady in the same area where Madeleine vanished in 2005. He’s also been convicted of narcotics offenses.
That was the first time a formal suspect in the McCann case had been named since Madeleine’s parents were designated suspects in 2007. In 2008, they were cleared of all charges.
German police stated in June 2020 that Madeleine is presumed dead, although British officials continue to examine her disappearance as a missing person investigation.