Reports have emerged that the family of Madeleine McCann has requested a woman claiming to be their missing daughter to undergo a DNA test. Madeleine, who was three years old at the time, disappeared from her bed in a holiday apartment in Portugal on May 3, 2007, in what has been described as the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history.
Now, Julia Wandelt, a 21-year-old from Poland, has come forward on Instagram with claims that she could be Madeleine, citing two pieces of evidence that she says prove her identity.
In one video, Julia shows a freckle on her leg and a speck in her eye, which are in similar places to Madeleine’s distinguishing features. Julia also believes she bears a resemblance to Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. Her Instagram account, which goes by the username @iammadeleinemccann, has amassed over 895,000 followers at the time of writing.
Julia claims that the McCann family has asked her to take a DNA test after her posts went viral. A source close to the family revealed to the Daily Star that the family is willing to explore all leads and is taking no chances. The source added, “It is important they look at all of the factors, the girl does look similar. There’s no disputing that. If what she says is true, there is every chance it could be her. It all adds up.” Julia has stated that a member of the McCann family has come forward to participate in a DNA test.
However, the McCann family has not commented on Julia’s claims yet. Julia hopes that she will be able to contact Madeleine’s parents soon, adding to her Instagram profile: “Thank you for your support! Kate and Gerry McCann agreed to a DNA test!”
Julia said that she started to wonder if she was Madeleine a few months ago after hearing something from her grandmother. Despite Julia’s belief that she is Madeleine, skeptics are saying there are glaring issues with her claims. According to news.com.au, neither London’s Metropolitan Police nor the Find Madeleine campaign has issued a statement, which they have done previously when there have been legitimate potential sightings or leads.
Some online commenters are also disputing Julia’s claims, stating that she doesn’t look like Madeleine. They say the marking on her eye is slightly different from Madeleine’s, while others are pointing out that she appears to have a different jawline. Social media users, however, argue that her face may have changed over the past 16 years.
Julia tells her followers that she’s not looking for viral fame and “truly believes” she is Madeleine, even asking her parents for proof of her birth and contacting the police. She says, “Police investigators from the UK and Poland try to ignore me. I will tell my story in posts here. Help me.” Julia added that she has asked for pictures of when her mum was pregnant with her, other medical records, and any pictures from her childhood, but her parents have not shown them to her. She says, “My school teacher when I was very young said that I wasn’t there from the start, but my parents insist I was. After all this confusion, I began to do my own research and discovered what had happened to Madeleine McCann and started to piece together the similarities we shared. It has been so stressful trying to get people to listen to me.”