A woman who says she is Madeleine McCann has issued a message to trolls who have sent her abuse in the wake of her extraordinary claim.
Julia Wendell – a 21-year-old woman from Poland – has gone viral in the past week with her claims that she is the missing British girl, who was abducted from a villa in Portugal in 2007.
Her supposed evidence is that she appears to have a similar rare eye defect to Madeleine and that she claims to look similar to the girl, as well has her parents Kate and Gerry McCann.
Her claims have prompted unconfirmed reports that the McCanns have asked her to undergo a DNA test to see if she could be Madeleine, who would be 19 if she is still alive.
In a furious rant on Instagram, Julia was asked by psychic Dr Fia Johansson if she has a message for people on social media saying she is a liar.
“I can say… thank you for support, these people who supported me and… f*** off to people who made me cry,” Julia replied.
“I’m sorry I had to but telling me that I should die, it’s very, very mad. It’s not nice.”
Julia continued: “I didn’t plan it for months to become McCann just because someone said something.
“You are not in my situation so you can’t say what I should do. I’m not ashamed because this is my past, it’s not about this case.
“This is the best way I can do for myself and you don’t know me personally, so don’t judge me please.”
Despite some similarities between Julia and Madeleine, neither London’s Metropolitan Police or the Find Madeleine campaign have issued statements about Julia’s claim.
Previous updates on the case have been shared by the Met and the McCanns, potentially suggesting that Julia’s claim is not being treated as a serious possibility.
The last major update in the case came in June 2020, when police in Britain and Germany launched a new appeal for witnesses after revealing they had a new suspect, who was later revealed to be jailed paedophile Christian Brueckner.
German prosecutors last year charged Brueckner with three counts of aggravated rape and two counts of sexual abuse of children between 2000 and 2017, but none of the alleged offences are in relation to Madeleine.
The McCanns issued a statement at the time too, saying they welcomed the renewed appeal for information.
Two weeks later, they issued a further statement denying false media reports that there was evidence suggesting Madeleine had died.
“If there are important developments that can be made public, they will be issued through official police channels,” the family added at the time.
Madeleine went missing from her bed in a holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort town Praia da Luz on the evening of May 3, 2007, while her parents were having tapas at a restaurant metres away from their villa.
Kate and Gerry, now both 54, recently pledged to “never give up” their quest to find their missing daughter – adding they were entering their 16th year without her with “continued determination and positivity”. The couple also have 17-year-old twins Sean and Amelie.
It’s estimated the British police probe to find Maddie has cost £13 million (approximately $23 million) to date.
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