Julia Faustyna became an internet sensation earlier this month when she claimed to be missing British girl Madeleine McCann, who was abducted from her bed while on vacation in Portugal in May 2007. She was 3-years-old.
McCann, who would be 19-years-old now, has been presumed dead.
Here’s what we know about Faustyna — and how much evidence she has to back up the claim.
Who is Julia Faustyna?
Faustyna is a 21-year-old aspiring musician and model who has claimed on Instagram she is missing British girl Madeleine McCann.
She has spoken briefly about her personal life, saying she has a boyfriend who “wants to leave me because of this case” and that she grew up attending school sporadically.
In some reports she’s listed under the name Julia Wendell or Julia Wandelt.
Faustyna says can’t remember large chunks of her early childhood, isn’t sure of her age and has never seen her birth certificate.
“I don’t remember most of my childhood but my earliest memory is very strong and it’s about holidays in hot place where there was a beach and white or very light colored buildings with apartments,” she said.
“I don’t see my family in this memory.”
Where does Julia Faustyna live?
Faustyna is from Poland and is currently living in Germany.
Julia Faustyna has claimed to be missing child Madeleine McCann.
What evidence does she have that she’s McCann?
There is very little hard proof that Faustina is the missing British girl. The 21-year-old has claimed she first heard that she was McCann from grandmother a few months ago.
On social media, she has documented apparent physical similarities between herself and McCann — including a distinct brown smudge on both of the girls’ right irises.
“I have similar eyes, shape of face, ears, lips, I had the gap between the teeths [as Madeleine],” she wrote in one post, with side-by-side photos of herself and the kidnapped child.
Faustyna has posted “evidence” in the form of photos showing physical similarities between herself and McCann.Instagram / @iammadeleinemccan
Faustyna also claimed she is suspicious of her parents in part because she’s never seen photos of her mom pregnant.
She has also shared a police sketch of a man witnesses saw carrying a child in the Portugal resort the night McCann disappeared, writing on Instagram, “I recognize this person..it looks very similar to my abuser [sic],” she wrote.
Faustyna claimed that she had been preyed on by a “German pedophile,” without elaborating.
Francisco Marco, private detective linked to the Madeleine McCann case, has cast doubt on her claims, saying “it does not add up to me.”
What have McCann’s parents said about Faustyna’s claims?
The missing girl’s parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, have agreed to take a DNA test to determine if they are truly related to Faustyna, sources told The Daily Beast.
Their daughter was last seen sleeping next to her two-year-old twin siblings while on vacation in Praia de Luz on May 3, 2007.
Where has Faustyna claimed to be McCann?
She originally posted the claim on Instagram and later followed up with a series of Tik Tok videos. She now has over 1 million followers on Instagram.
“I started doing my own research, I discovered what happened to Madeleine McCann and I connected the dots,” she wrote in a post.
“I need to know the truth. I need [a] dna test and I need to talk with Madeleine’s parents. Help me!”