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Polish Woman goes Viral on Social Media Claiming She May be Missing Child Madeleine McCann

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

Taking a look at one of the most high-profile missing persons case 

Madeleine McCann disappeared on May 3, 2007, at 3 years old, from a hotel in Praia da Luz, Portugal, while she was vacationing there with her family from the UK. McCann’s case left the world dismayed and heartbroken. 

Having been over a decade, the case remains one of the most high-profile missing persons investigations in recent history. Yet, despite numerous leads and potential suspects, no one has been charged with her abduction or murder, leaving the public with endless questions and grief.

Who is Julia Wendell? 

Wendell is a 21-year-old Polish woman who recently attracted attention by making social media posts claiming she may be Madeleine McCann. 

Wendell’s posts spread across the web shortly after she made the claims. She made an Instagram and TikTok account titled @iammadeleinemccann to plead her case and ask for help reaching out to Kate and Gerry McCann.

The account has gained a lot of popularity over the past several weeks, garnering more than a million followers at the time of publishing. This has led to hundreds of TikTok videos debating the “proof” Wendell has presented as well as debunking it. 

Wendell’s Social Media Posts 

The 21-year-old woman has shared photographs of herself, the missing child and the McCanns, aiming to showcase their resemblance. According to NZ Herald, Wendell has recently claimed the McCanns have asked for a DNA test; however, this claim has not been verified. 

Wendell has also emphasized her parents’ suspicious responses whenever she asks for pictures of her as a young child or why she started school later than her other classmates. Through several posts on social media, Wendell is attempting to show facial similarities between her and Madeleine McCann. In addition, she draws attention to Madeleine McCann’s distinctive eye defect, which is slightly noticeable in Wendell. 

Rundown of the Past Suspects in Madeleine McCann’s Case

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann is a high-profile case that occurred in Portugal in 2007. Over the years, several individuals have been suspected by police and the media of being involved in her disappearance, according to The Sun.

One of the first to be suspected was Robert Murat, who lived near the McCanns’ holiday apartment in Portugal at the time. Although he was initially declared a suspect, he was later cleared of any involvement in the case.

Another person of interest was Raymond Hewlett, a convicted pedophile who was living in the area at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance. He denied any involvement in the case but was questioned by police.

Euclides Monteiro, a former employee at the Ocean Club resort where the McCann family was staying, was also investigated by police but was later ruled out as a suspect.

Kate and Gerry McCann were initially investigated by the Portuguese police as suspects in their child’s disappearance, but eventually, they were cleared of any involvement. Despite this, some continue to criticize and question the McCanns’ actions and parenting decisions leading up to and after Madeleine’s disappearance.

In June 2020, German authorities announced they had identified a new suspect named Christian B., a 43-year-old German man, who was convicted of a separate crime and is currently in prison in Germany. He has not yet been charged with Madeleine’s disappearance, but German prosecutors have said they believe she is dead, and the police are treating the case as a murder investigation.

Although many other individuals have been considered persons of interest in the Madeleine McCann case over the years, these are some of the most well-known and significant suspects. 

The Response to Wendell’s Posts 

Polish police are reportedly denying Wendell’s assertions that she could be Madeleine McCann, according to Global News. The debate over Wendell’s statements has been incredibly divisive. Several are urging the Metropolitan Police in London to look into Wendell’s allegations, while others are charging Wendell as a malicious con artist.

Wendell’s family released a statement highlighting psychologists and psychiatrists have treated her in the past, but they believe she has stopped receiving treatment. 

While Wendell’s social media posts gained much attention, there is no concrete evidence she is the long-lost missing child. More information is yet to be gathered and released. 

I am a second-year English and Political Science major at UF. I hope to inspire readers by writing and providing useful information. I love to read fiction and write about current events.