The 21-year-old who made headlines everywhere earlier this year after claiming that she was missing Brit Madeleine McCann has finally received the results of a long-awaited DNA test.
Julia Wendell, also known as Julia Faustyna or Julia Wandelt, went viral in February after sensationally putting forward the case that she is McCann, who vanished from a holiday resort in Portugal in 2007, aged three.
Wendell created an Instagram account named “Help me, I need to talk with Kate and Gerry McCann” – the username is “iammadeleinemccan” – and supported her claim with pieces of “evidence”, including side-by-side comparisons of physical characteristics she shares with Madeleine.
The Polish native was ultimately forced to flee her homeland after her plea garnered such attention that she received death threats, but she has always maintained that she is not knowingly lying.
A large shadow of doubt was cast over the 21-year-old’s claim after a Swiss artificial intelligence company ran an extensive facial recognition test last month to determine if what she’s said might be true.
Per Sky, Ava-X submitted photos of Wendell and McCann into its Iris facial recognition software. The result? The software determined it was “practically impossible” for the young woman to be the missing Madeleine.
Christian Fehrlin, the company’s co-founder, told reporters that the system was able to find a match between childhood and adult photos of Wendell, but was unable to do the same thing with photos of Madeleine.
“When we did the same with Maddie’s picture, no match could be found,” Fehrlin told Swiss newspaper Blick.
The young woman’s family, meanwhile, have vehemently condemned her claims.
“For us as a family it is obvious that Julia is our daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin and step niece,” the family said in a statement.
“We have memories, we have pictures. Julia also has these photos, because she took them from the family home with the birth certificate, as well as numerous hospital discharges.”
Even so, Wendell has been determined to settle the matter once and for all, and even appeared recently on the popular talkshow Dr. Phil in a bid to draw further attention to her case.
As mentioned, she was forced to leave Poland for her own safety and relocated to the US where, according to reports, she took a DNA test to prove her connection to the McCann family.
Yet those results have now shown that she is not Madeleine, revealing instead that she is from Poland, with some Lithuanian and Romanian heritage.
Speaking to RadarOnline, Dr. Fia Johansson said: “She is absolutely 100 percent from Poland. She is a small percentage of Lithuanian and Russian but the test results show she is Polish.”
Prior to the results being published, Dr. Johansson, who has been given power of attorney over Julia, said her “gut feeling” before the test results was that her client isn’t Madeleine.
“We learned a few things, one being that Julia’s mum is in fact now believed to be her mum, so she is not Madeleine McCann,” Dr. Johansson said.
“They’re not 100% but they believe that Julia’s mum is in fact her mum. They’re questioning her father’s side. They’re checking into that, that’s part of what they’re doing with the DNA.
“But Julia’s mum is in fact her mum is what they’re believing and she is not in fact Madeleine McCann.”
According to sources in the UK, authorities still looking for Madeleine are to be given a new cash injection worth hundreds of thousands of pounds to help with the search.
A source close to the investigation said: “This is excellent news. Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry will be delighted. It gives fresh hope.”
My only hope is that the case finds a resolution soon, and the tormented parents of Madeleine McCann can finally get some peace.
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