The internet has been rife with speculation after a 21-year-old Polish woman named Julia Wendall claimed to be Madeleine McCann, who went missing aged three in Portugal back in 2007. While Julia and her representatives are now waiting on DNA test results to find out more about her parentage, the Polish police has responded to the reports, while Julia’s own family have shared a statement. Read the full explainer here.
In a short statement to a Polish outlet, Gazette, the Provincial Police Headquarters in Wroclaw confirmed that they had "ruled out" any connection between Julia and Madeline, but didn’t go into details on why.
WATCH: Girl who claims to be Madeleine McCann's DNA test update
Julia Wendall’s family statement
Furthermore, Julia's family issued a statement via a Polish Missing Persons charity, Zaginieni przed laty. Translated, the statement reads: "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. Julia also has these photos, because she took them from the family home with the birth certificate, as well as numerous hospital discharges."
Madeleine went missing in 2007
They went on to explain that they had offered Julia therapists, medicine and support over the years, adding: "Julia once wanted to be a singer, a model. She always wanted to be popular. What's happening now is she [has] 1 million followers… We are devastated at this current situation."
Read the whole statement here
They concluded: "Any inquiries or comments should be sent to the Ombudsman of the Provincial Police Headquarters in Wrocław, who is conducting the investigation on Julia and to whom we have provided all the necessary documentary evidence in this case."
Who is Julia Wendall?
Julia is a young Polish woman who claimed that she believes that she could be Madeleine McCann after hearing an unusual comment from her grandmother, and sharing the same recognisable eye fleck. She also claims that there are no photos of her as a young child growing up.
READ: Kate and Gerry McCann react to new evidence in daughter Madeleine's disappearance
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Julia’s representative, Dr Fia Johansson, has spoken about holding back from discussing the situation properly until they know about Julia’s identity for certain, and requesting that those interested in the case are kind to Julia following social media trolling.
Julia believes she might be the missing girl
She said: "At this moment, if Julia is Madeleine or not, we are still going to help Julia to figure herself out and find out who she is… no one will know until everything is done… it may take weeks or months so be patient, stay tuned and respect Julia."
Have Kate and Gerry McCann responded?
Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, haven’t responded to the claims - most recently updating their official site with a New Year message back in January. Their spokesperson responded in a statement which read: "Gerry and Kate are not issuing any statements or giving interviews unless requested by The Metropolitan Police."
Kate and Gerry's spokesperson confirmed they won't be issuing statements
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