The Polish woman who believes she is Madeleine McCann has seen a huge breakthrough in her case.
Then-three-year-old Madeleine went missing in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007 while on vacation with her family, and her case still remains unsolved almost 16 years later.
Julia Wandel, 21, hit the headlines recently after claiming to be Madeleine on social media, drawing attention to their physical similarities and urging for a DNA test to take place.
Wendell claimed to have similar freckles and beauty marks, as well as sharing the same distinct mark on her eye as Madeleine.
She also shared images comparing her physical traits with Madeleine’s parents, Gerry and Kate McCann.
In addition to this, Wendell explained to not remember most of her childhood, and claimed that a lot of details from it don’t add up.
Since gaining such a huge amount of attention online for her claims, her journey has been a rather rocky one. However now, Wendell is looking at a significant breakthrough for her case.
She has now submitted DNA samples that she claims could prove whether she is the long time missing girl.
The 21-year-old has submitted samples for three different forensic examinations that will outline her DNA sequence, along with a 23andMe-style genetic test to establish her ancestry, private investigator Dr. Fia Johansson told RadarOnline.com.
“If the results come back that she’s British or from that area then we are going to continue our investigation into Madeleine McCann and communicate with the detectives in Portugal,” said Dr. Johansson, who relocated Wendell from Poland to a safe house in the United States after a series of death threats.
“We have a lot of evidence right now that shows Julia was definitely trafficked to Poland from another country by an international sex trafficking group.”
“We are still conducting an investigation but Julia is definitely not the biological daughter of her parents in Poland.”
Her parents have previously spoken out on their daughter’s claims, denying the allegations and said she ignored their please to stop her “lies and manipulation.”
“For us as a family it is obvious that Julia is our daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin and step niece. We have memories, we have pictures,” the family said in a statement through the missing persons’ organization Missing Years Ago.
“Julia also has these photos, because she took them from the family home with the birth certificate, as well as numerous hospital discharges.”
If Wendell’s ancestry comes from the same region as Madeleine’s parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, Dr. Johansson said she will immediately send the DNA sequence to Portuguese investigators for comparison.