Wendell, also known as Julia Faustyna or Julia Wandelt, made headlines everywhere in February after sensationally putting forward the case that she is Madeleine, 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 young woman’s family, meanwhile, vehemently condemned her claims.
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“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.”
Wendell was forced to leave her native 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.”
Following the results, Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry, who have always maintained that their daughter was abducted after they left her and her siblings alone in their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, issued a statement via their representatives. It read:
“There isn’t anything to report at this time. If and when there is, it will come from The Metropolitan Police.”
In a new statement made via her Facebook page, Wendell has now issued an apology to Kate and Gerry, insisting it was never her “intention to bring sadness or any other negative emotion to anyone, especially to McCann family”.
Wendell’s statement continued: “I don’t remember most of my memories, but I can remember some things and I never said that I am Madeleine McCann.
“I used this sentence to create a nickname for my old Instagram account; it was my mistake and I know it and I apologise for that because I should use words ‘Am I Madeleine McCann’, not ‘I am’.
“So it was my fault and it wasn’t my intention to bring sadness or another negative emotion to anyone, especially to McCann family. My main purpose was always to find out who I am and what exactly happened in my very hurtful past.”
Despite all the evidence immutably pointing to the fact that she is not the missing Madeleine McCann, Wendell added: “I still believe that it’s a possibility that I could be Madeleine.”
Dr. Fia Johansson, who until recently served as spokesperson for Wendell, said she and Wendell were forced to have a difficult discussion after the DNA test results came back.
Speaking to The Sun, Johansson said: “At first she didn’t want to believe the DNA results, she was saying, ‘What if someone changed the results?’ but I told her, ‘Stop this now’.
“I can understand as a psychologist why she didn’t want to believe her mother is her real mother.
“But I told her she must stop this fixation, now, that she is Madeleine McCann, and accept the result of the DNA test and start to move on with her life.”
My heart continues to bleed for Kate and Gerry McCann, who have never really had a decisive answer to the question of where their daughter went.
I’m also sympathetic towards Julia Wendell and hope that she can resolve her own issues moving forward.
Share this article if you hope and pray that Madeleine is found safe and well one day. Leave a comment if you have an opinion as to what happened on that fateful night when she disappeared.