Viral Instagram star claiming to be Madeleine McCann receives DNA test results
A Polish woman who claimed she was Madeleine McCann appears to have ended her search for proof after receiving the results of a DNA test.
Julia Faustyna, 21, made headlines earlier this year after posting a video to Instagram in which she claimed to be the British girl who disappeared, aged three, on a family holiday in Portugal.
Ms Faustyna, who also goes by the last name Wendell, alleged her parents could not prove a biological link with her and ordered her genes be tested to show that she had British ancestry.
She claimed to have started suspecting she was Madeleine in June last year. She did not provide any supporting evidence but pointed to perceived physical similarities and alleged missing family records.
A frenzy in parts of the media over the claims culminated last week in an appearance by Ms Faustyna on long-running US chat show, Dr Phil, where she said she would submit her DNA to Scotland Yard to be compared to Madeleine’s if the test revealed her roots were British.
On Monday night, Fia Johansson, a spokesperson for the young woman, said: “Julia’s test results are back. We finally know the reality!”
Ms Johansson, a psychic medium, added: “The test results revealed that she is 100% of Polish heart, with negligible influence from Lithuania, and Russia.”
“The DNA test results did not show any connection to British or even German roots.”
Ms Faustyna’s parents always denied they were not biologically linked to Ms Faustyna and said their daughter had taken evidence including photographs and a birth certificate with her when she moved out of their house.
After the claims emerged, her parents said: “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.
“We always tried to understand all situations that happened with Julia. Threats to our address … activity on the internet … we’ve seen it all and we’ve tried to prevent it, explain it …”
Ms Johansson said in Monday’s statement that Ms Faustyna had moved back in with her father. An Instagram page on which Ms Faustyna made her claims, IAmMadeleineMcCann, has been deactivated.
The search for Madeleine has been ongoing since she went missing in 2007 and investigators recently sought new funding to continue their work.
Portuguese police running a concurrent probe last year declared Christian Brueckner, a paedophile jailed in Germany, as the prime suspect in the girl’s disappearance.