‘I am Madeleine McCann‘ girl Julia Wandelt went viral last week after she claimed that she could be missing Madeleine.
Madeleine disappeared in Portugal in May 2007, with her parents Kate and Gerry McCann never giving up hope of finding their daughter.
Last week, Julia Wandelt came forward and, in a series of social media posts, she claimed that she thinks she could be Madeleine McCann.
So what’s happened since then and what claims has she made? Read on to find out…
February 13: Julia shares tragic back story on Facebook
On February 13, Julia – under the name Julia Faustyna – shared her traumatic back story on the True Crime Room: Murdered, Missing & Mysteries Facebook page.
In a long and detailed post, Julia – who thinks she is 21 – outlined the reasons why she thinks she could be Madeleine, who would be 19.
She also revealed some devastating details about her childhood and made claims that she was abused by a pedophile.
She said: “Maybe it’s not the right place to tell it but I’m losing my hope. The main thing is I think I can be Madeleine.”
Julia claimed to have contacted Operation Grange, the investigation opened to find Madeleine. However, she alleged she was told the investigation would be closing soon.
She said: “Let me start by saying that I remember practically nothing from my childhood, including the late one. I have post-traumatic amnesia.
The main thing is I think I can be Madeleine.
“I was the victim of a German pedophile.
“The consequences of the trauma I suffered increasingly prevented me from functioning normally.
“At the end of 2018 I ended up in a psychiatric ward for children and adolescents. That’s when I started therapy.
“During the therapy I started to analyse a lot, reflect and ask a lot of uncomfortable questions to my family, until at one point my mother couldn’t stand the barrage of questions and cut me off from therapy.”
She went on to claim: “I have CPTSD – complex post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Pleading for help to discover her true identity, she concluded: “I am writing this because I want this issue to be taken seriously.”
Julia on her ‘abuse’
In the same February 13 post, she shared: “Overall, the subject of my abuse in the family is very much avoided, by basically everyone.”
She claimed her abuser had spent time in prison and said: “He was in prison. There was a criminal sentence, a final one.
“In any case, the person in the drawing I recognise is my abuse.”
She then claimed that a medical student alleged they had seen Madeleine in Poland days after her disappearance.
Julia said it was the same place that she lived at the time.
February 15: ‘I am Madeleine McCann’ claims hit Instagram
On February 15, Julia first made her claims that she could be Madeleine McCann on Instagram.
She started up an Instagram page @iammadeleinemccan and shared her first post.
It featured an image of Julia with a man whose face had been obscured.
The post also shared a picture of her alone.
She captioned it with a variety of hashtags including ones which read “Madeleine McCann”, “help me”, “missing” and “find me”.
Julia’s Instagram biography at the time read: “I think I can be Madeleine. I need DNA test. Police investigators from UK and Poland try to ignore me. I will tell my story in posts here. Help me.”
On the same day, Julia also shared images of herself as a child and revealed what she claims to be her first memory.
She claimed: “First reason… I don’t remember most of my childhood but my earliest memory is very strong.
“It’s about holidays in a hot place where was beach and white or very light coloured buildings with apartments.
“I don’t see my family in this memory.”
As those following the Madeleine McCann case will know, she went missing from a beach resort in Portugal.
And images of the holiday apartment she was last seen in show low-rise whitewashed buildings.
Shortly after this she shared a photofit of a man from the official Find Madeleine website.
Julia claimed to recognise the man and alleged: “He looks very similar to my abuser.”
And it’s then that she made her plea to Kate and Gerry.
“I need police to make DNA test to me and compare it with Madeleine’s DNA. I need to talk with Kate and Gerry McCann,” she said.
Same eye mark as Madeleine
Later on February 15, Julia shared more evidence that she alleged supported her claims she could be Madeleine.
She shared several pictures claiming to show a similar marking in her eye to the one Madeleine had as a child.
The post was captioned: “I have mark in the same eye, but my mark is faded.
“I talked with eye doctor and he told me that it could be operated and I will go to doctor again to check it.”
Julia continued to share pictures of herself side-by-side with Madeleine.
The next post was captioned: “I have similar eyes, shape of face, ears, lips, I had the gap between the teeth.”
She also tagged the Met Police in her post.
Julia went on to share an artist’s impression of what Madeleine could look like now, alongside pictures of herself.
February 16: Julia insists she is ‘real’
Following backlash and questions from people who had heard about her claims, Julia hosted her first Instagram Live.
She captioned the post: “I am real,” and answered questions from her followers.
She also revealed that she was “very stressed”.
Julia also renewed her plea to the McCanns for a DNA test.
Later that day, Julia produced what she claimed to be more evidence that she could be Madeleine.
She pointed out several “spots” – or freckles – that she has on her body in similar places to Madeleine.
Julia also shared an image of a close up of a freckle under her eye in a similar position to one Madeleine had as a child.
She said: “Another proof. I didn’t see it earlier. One person sent me this info. Thank you for support.”
Later that night she went live again from her home in Poland.
She answered more questions from followers and said she has no pictures of herself as a baby.
February 17: McCanns urged to act
The parents of Madeleine McCann, Kate and Gerry McCann, were urged to act on Julia’s claims by their supporters on February 17.
Although they haven’t made a comment about the claims, comments started to appear on a post that they shared to Facebook early in January.
The post wished their followers a happy new year and shared their hope that one day their daughter would be found.
In the comments section, online sleuths started to post links to Julia’s social media videos.
They urged Kate and Gerry not to “ignore” her claims.
Kate and Gerry’s reps have since told ED! that the couple will not currently be making any comment or statement.
Julia shares Kate and Gerry similarities
Later on February 17, Julia shared images of herself alongside Kate and Gerry McCann.
She appeared to suggest that she looks like Madeleine’s parents.
However, she was hit with backlash.
One follower claimed: “Lips are different. Face doesn’t register with me.”
However, not everyone felt the same.
Another commented and claimed: “Looks the spit of Gerry.”
Julia also shared a post urging followers to “look at my ears” and included a picture where you could see Gerry’s ears.
One online sleuth commented: “I’m sorry to me it’s nothing alike. Completely different features.”
Julia also shared an image of her childhood teeth alongside a picture of Madeleine, appearing to suggest they were similar.
She then shared a picture of herself and Madeleine at around the same age.
“Definitely not the same child,” one follower blasted.
However, others urged: “Even if she isnt Maddie she still need help! Whats wrong with people?!”
Later that night Julia went live again on Instagram, answering questions from her followers.
Julia thanks her supporters
She ended February 17 with a message of thanks to her supporters.
She also shared more pictures of herself and Madeleine.
“Thank you for support that you give me and for haters I have to say that I am not kidding and I truly believe that I can be her.
“I didn’t take money from anyone and I am not going to do this because police should do DNA test to me and compare it with Kate and Gerry McCann’s DNA.
“That’s all,” she concluded.
@iammadeleinemccannc Home❤️🩹 #iammadeleinemccann #madeleinemccann #fyp #featureme #goviral ♬ Originalton – iammadeleinemccann
February 18: Julia takes her plight to TikTok
The following day, February 18, Julia decided to take her claims to TikTok.
It was there that she made unsubstantiated claims she had been in touch with a member of Madeleine’s family
She alleged: “I talked with someone from Madeleine’s family and I will have a possibility to talk with Madeleine’s parents today and DNA test will be done soon.”
Over on Instagram Julia was emotional.
Weeping, she declared: “I don’t know why there is so much hate.”
February 19: Dr Fia Johansson gets in touch
The following day, February 19, Dr Fia Johansson – the Persian Medium – got in touch with Julia in the comments section of her Instagram post.
She wrote: “Darling, I always believed she was alive. I’m a psychic detective that predicts she is from Germany.
“I will ensure the authorities and family pay attention to you and start the DNA test ASAP.
“Google Fia Johansson and Madeleine’s names, then you will see many articles about what I said.
“I wish you luck, girl – don’t give up. Be patient as you were for so many years,” she urged.
The pair seemingly had contact later that day, before hosting their first Instagram Live later that night.
New theory about Kate McCann
February 19 also saw Julia share a new theory about Kate McCann – and it was one that was given weight by Entertainment Daily readers on Facebook.
Julia shared a selection of images of Madeleine’s mother alleging to show similarities between herself and Julia.
In the Instagram post, which was un-captioned, she appeared to suggest they resemble each other.
Pictures show Kate and Julia’s nose, mouth, eyes and smile side by side.
One ED! reader alleged: “She has the exact same teeth and smile as Kate.”
Another claimed: “I think she has a look of Kate McCann.”
A third commented to alleged: “She does look like a female Gerry McCann, so she could be telling the truth!”
February 20: Claims McCanns agree to DNA test
Julia then made another an unsubstantiated claim that the McCann family had agreed to take part in a DNA test with her.
She changed her Instagram biography to allege: “Thank you for support! Kate and Gerry McCann agreed for DNA test!”
Sharing a newspaper article about her desire for contact with the McCanns and a DNA test, she claimed: “They agreed!!!!”
Neither the McCanns or their representatives have publicly commented on Julia or any of her claims.
Dr Fia alleges contact with the McCanns
On February 21, Dr Fia Johansson alleged that she had been in touch with the McCanns.
In unsubstantiated claims, she told Julia: “I have to tell you that Kate is really taking you seriously right now and they actually going to connect you and make that DNA test to happen.”
Madeleine McCann sleuths claim Julia looks like another missing girl
However, comments on social media then started to suggest that Julia looks more like another high-profile missing girl.
In fact, armchair detectives think Julia is looking in the wrong place for her identity.
Inga Gehricke, dubbed the ‘German Maddie’, went missing in May 2015.
She was at a BBQ in a forest in Schönebeck, Saxony-Anhalt and went to collect wood for a campfire.
However, while the other children returned, Inga didn’t – and there has been no sign of her ever since.
Back in 2020, the prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann disappearance, Christian Brueckner, was linked to Inga’s disappearance.
Now armchair sleuths have claimed that they think Julia looks more like Inga than Madeleine.
Posting on the same True Crime Facebook page, one commenter claimed: “Going off the Madeleine McCann case and the new information about the girl that’s been trying to come forward about how she thinks she believes she’s Madeleine, there’s another little girl that disappeared and her name is Inga Gehricke.
“Inga would now be 13. To me, Julia looks a bit more like Inga.”
Julia given warning as she issues DNA test update
Overnight on February 20, Julia and Dr Fia went live on Instagram again.
This time, they gave an update about the DNA test that Julia is seeking with the McCanns.
She told Dr Fia: “People ask many questions about DNA test. They ask why isn’t it done yet.”
Dr Fia replied: “Everything about the DNA test is a process.
“It’s not about that tomorrow we can get it done and it’s all correct because you already have a family. It has to go in all those legal aspects.
“It’s not something that’s going to happen tomorrow and then the day after you’re going to figure it out. It’s maybe going to take weeks to get that.”
She then added: “When we are ready to say when and how and if we’re allowed to say, we are telling people.
“At this moment we are not and we are not going to say exactly when, where and how.”
She also issued a warning to Julia, urging her not to go live on social media on her own again.
“We have to be careful about what we are saying and how we are saying it,” she concluded.
February 21: Dr Fia declares ‘threats’ to Julia ‘need to stop’
In a post reshared on Julia’s Instagram page on February 21, Dr Fia can be seen in her car speaking to camera.
In the video, she urged people following the case to be patient.
“To everyone interested in Julia’s search for answers, please understand we are in the middle of an investigation. This is a vulnerable woman seeking answers about her identity and her life.
“Regardless of your opinions, she is a human being who deserves respect. When everything is done in the investigation in a few weeks, you can learn more, but more now, please respect this woman’s privacy.”
She then added: “Her background was challenging and messy.
“There is no need to spew hatred, judgment, and especially threats towards a person in need.
“This is unacceptable and needs to stop.”
Dr Fia is now acting as Julia’s spokesperson.
In their most recent Instagram Live, Julia told Dr Fia that she had taken part in an interview with a member of the Polish media.
Much like her Instagram lives, Dr Fia urged Julia to not speak to the press on her own again.
Read more: Girl who claims she could be Madeleine McCann branded ‘sick’ and ‘shunned by her family’
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