A huge new development has occurred in the Madeleine McCann case following a turbulent few months.
The story came back to the fore when Julia Faustyna claimed she was the missing daughter.
And submitted DNA tests to discover her true heritage.
We then got a conclusive answer.
And the internet was shocked.
“This story is honestly absolutely crazy,” wrote one commenter.
“I can’t believe it,” added another.
“So … what are the next stages of this story?” asked a third.
“I’m still on tenterhooks,” a fourth agreed.
But now, there has been another twist in the tale …
As authorities have just revealed a huge update in their search for Maddie.
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This could offer the world the resolution we so desperately need.
Scroll on to read the whole story in full.
Here’s what we know so far…
For years now, the mystery of missing child Madeleine McCann has shaken the world.
The 3-year-old girl went missing 15 years ago.
It happened while the British family were on holiday in Portugal.
Kate and Gerry McCann were from Leicestershire, UK.
And had left their children unattended while on holiday in Praia de Luz.
The parents went to a nearby Tapas restaurant to eat.
Leaving Maddie and younger siblings, Amelie and Sean alone in the hotel room, asleep.
At around 9pm, Kate went to check on the children.
She saw the three of them comfortably asleep, so returned to the tapas bar.
At 10 PM on May 3, 2007, Kate returned to her hotel room to check.
And saw the window open and Madeleine gone.
Police searched the nearby area from the moment the missing child was reported.
Not stopping until the next morning.
Police also alerted border controls in Portugal.
This was to ensure early doors that Madeleine could be not be trafficked.
On 12 May, the McCanns say they “cannot describe the anguish and despair.”
While police assured the media Madeleine was still alive and in Portugal.
Initially, the McCann parents came under scrutiny by authorities.
Registered sex offenders in the local area also came under suspicion.
On 26 May, police issued a description of a man seen on the night of Madeleine’s disappearance.
It’s believed he was possibly carrying a child.
Anglo-Portuguese property developer Robert Murat was one of the first suspects.
But he was released and cleared of the crime soon afterward.
It wasn’t until over 100 days after the crime that authorities admitted there was a chance she could have been killed.
But the case has remained mysterious.
The handling of the case has been subject to criticism.
In particular, the way forensics teams neglected to properly protect the crime scene, losing possible evidence.
Gerry McCann also claimed he believed his family was targeted by a “predator.”
The McCanns also released police sketches of a suspect, based on a description by a fellow tourist of a “creepy man.”
The McCanns became more overtly critical of the police.
Gerry McCann said he found it “incredibly frustrating” that the investigations has been stalled “for a very long time”.
Five years after the incident, Kate wrote a tell-all book about the case.
This led to Scotland Yard reopening the case in the hopes of finding answers.
Prime Minister David Cameron asks the Metropolitan Police to step in.
A two-year investigation by British authorities followed.
This led to the age-projected photos of Maddie being released to the public.
Which will become a major part of the story later …
This new investigation is called Operation Grange.
And in 2014, it lead to British police and sniffer dogs arriving in Portugal.
But this was to no avail.
The police also revealed that the investigations into Madeleine had cost more than £10 million ($13 million).
In 2019, Portuguese detectives reported they were investigating a foreign pedophile.
This was later revealed to be 43-year-old German Christian Brueckner.
There have been countless explorations into the case.
Including a smash-hit Netflix documentary on the subject.
However, the case has never been solved.
Until (maybe) now.
A girl went viral on social media for claiming she believed she is Madeleine herself.
Julia Faustyna, 21, hit major headlines after she started posting on social media under the handle @iammadeleinemccann.
In one Instagram posts, Faustyna writes that she does not remember most of her early life.
Except “holidays in a hot place where was beach and White or very light couloured buildings with apartaments [sic].”
“I don’t see my family in this memory.”
Julia also claims it was her grandmother who first told her she was Madeleine McCann.
Julia has also pointed out physical similarities between herself and Madeleine.
“I have similar eyes, shape of face, ears, lips, I had the gap between the teeth,” she wrote.
And Julia had one major aim in mind.
“I need to know the truth. I need dna test and I need to talk with Madeleine’s parents. Help me!”
Faustyna also shared the police sketch of the man reported by witnesses as carrying a child away from the scene of the crime.
“I recognize this person..it looks very similar to my abuser,” she claimed.
In a different post, she claims to have been abused by a “German pedophile.”
However, Julia’s claims have also come under scrutiny.
Faustyna is a 21-year-old aspiring musician and model.
This has led some to believe she’s making these claims solely for publicity.
She claims her boyfriend “wants to leave me because of this case.”
And she has previously gone by names Julia Wendell or Julia Wandelt.
Her “mental health at this moment is not good,” spokesperson Dr. Fia Johansson shared in a video update to Faustyna’s Instagram profile.
“She needs help,” Johansson continued.
“It does not add up to me,” he concluded.
Whether he believes Julia is lying is not yet known.
There’s also her “challenging and messy” background to consider.
Nonetheless, there has since been a huge breakthrough.
Julia has updated her Instagram bio with “Kate and Gerry McCann agreed for DNA test!”
While a source told the Daily Beast that this is true!
Although Julia has not yet confirmed this news officially to the press.
While Kate and Gerry McCann have also not yet been reached for comment.
The requests for DNA testing were then denied by Julia’s family.
“I have been personally talking to Julia’s mother and told her we will make her safe and secure in any way she needs but she is still refusing to take the test,” Fia Johansson, who is representing Faustyna, told the UK Sun.
“She claims she has Julia’s birth certificate but our worry is that you can easily forge this. My feeling is that we need to force the mother or a member of Julia’s family to take the DNA test,” they continued.
“We could solve this. But they are refusing to.”
As for German sex offender Christian Brückner, 45, he is still under investigation.
He was a handyman in Praia de Luz at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance, and had previously served time for rape.
In fact, he is serving time for three counts of rape and two charges of child sex abuse, not related to Madeleine’s disappearance.
But his involvement in Madeleine’s case remains a mystery.
“We welcome the news that the Portuguese authorities have declared a German man an ‘arguido’ [suspect] in relation to the disappearance of our beloved daughter Madeleine,” the McCanns wrote on their website at the time.
“Even though the possibility may be slim, we have not given up hope that Madeleine is still alive and we will be reunited with her.”
The McCanns thanked police, saying: “All we have ever wanted is to find her, uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice.
“We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive, but whatever the outcome may be, we need to know as we need to find peace.”
However, results then came in from Julia’s biometric analysis.
As Francisco Marco has told RAC1: “I have done a biometric search and there is no resemblance to Madeleine’s features.”
He added: “I can think it’s a fraud, but I can’t say without evidence.”
“This girl contacted the police and no one paid attention to her, and she later opened the Instagram account where she now has thousands of followers when she had very few before.”
Facial “super-recognizer” Simone Malik then offered her expertise to the Daily Star.
She said: “I believe that this isn’t Madeleine McCann – obviously DNA is the only thing that would prove it.
“If she could get a DNA that would be fantastic because it would put to rest the distress she is going through.
“On first impressions, when I looked at Julia Wendell I didn’t see any kind of family resemblance – at all.
“For me what really gave it away is her jawline.
“In my earlier drawing of Madeleine McCann, I really emphasized that jawline.
“Even as a youngster when you look at her, at those pictures, I imagine [she] would grow up to have a jawline [that’s] sharp and chiseled, an angular jawline very much like her mother Kate McCann.
“So, if you look at Julia, she has a very prominent chin, a long prominent chin, a rounded jawline which in earlier pictures you can actually see the jawline is very rounded and it goes up, it’s quite long. There are no angles to her jawline whatsoever.
“Also I believe that Madeleine would [have] very distinctive dimples – distinctive. With Julia, they’re not there either. She’s got a slight dimpling but slightly – most people can have that.
“Madeleine has got very distinct dimples, very defined dimples compared to Julia. For me her jawline and the fact that Julia doesn’t have those dimples like Madeleine.
“And the fact Julia’s mouth is also very different to what Madeleine’s is – Madeleine’s got a very thin upper lip. Again it’s like Kate McCann’s lip – the shape the size everything is very very much like Kate’s.
“I would definitely say this is not the case, this is not Madeleine McCann that we’re looking at.
“Even as a child Julia has got a full upper lip and she’s got a full bottom lip – Madeleine McCann’s lip area is identical to Kate McCann’s. We’re not looking at Madeleine McCann here at all.”
Take a look at the groundbreaking images here.
Julia’s family has also offered a statement on the subject.
“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,” the family said in a statement.
“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,” the family continued. “Threats to our address from Julia, her lies and manipulations, activity on the internet.”
“We’ve seen it all and we’ve tried to prevent it, to explain, we’ve asked her to stop. We always tried to help her get back on her feet. Julia has been of age for several years. She has moved out of the house. Julia once wanted to be a singer, a model. She always wanted to be popular. What’s happening now she got one million followers.”
“We’re afraid Julia will carry the inevitable. The internet won’t forget, and it’s obvious that Julia isn’t Maddie. We are devastated at this current situation.”
Pawel Noga of the Provincial Police Headquarters in Wroclaw then spoke out to the Mirror.
He said after meeting the family, he has ruled out the possibility that Julia is Maddie.
He claims he has seen baby photos of Julia with the family, and viewed her birth certificate!
Soon after, Julia was dealt another devastating blow.
“We are still waiting on the result of DNA testing that will show us exactly what Julia’s ethnic background is and what country she and her true family are from. These kinds of tests are very accurate,” Julia’s representative and private detective Dr. Fia Johansson told The Sun.
“Of course depending on the result of that we will continue our investigation to see if Julia is could be Madeleine or another missing person.
“But now the focus is on Julia as a person – not Madeleine.
“She has had a neglected childhood and suffered much abuse. Her health is very poor she has bad asthma and she suffers lots of pain in her bones. She is booked in for a CT and MRI scan because of the pain in her bones.
“Her blood work is also abnormal so my doctor here in the US is investigating whether she could have leukemia so we are awaiting the results of that. And if she needs any treatment we will make sure she gets that.”
And following this news, Julia made a surprise appearance on Dr. Phil.
Julia claimed there were large chunks of her childhood missing from her memory.
She has also never seen her birth certificate and is missing early pages from her childhood health book.
She described her earliest memory, saying: “It was the beach and water, like sea or ocean, and there were turtles and children… And I remembered light-colored buildings, like white or very light colors, sunlight on these buildings.”
She also made claims a man called Peter Ney s*xually assaulted her. He was later convicted.
“I believe that (Peter) can be related to Martin Ney. Martin Ney was suspected in Madeleine McCann case and Martin Ney is an international child trafficker, serial killer,” she said.
Julia also revealed she will not return to her old family, regardless of what DNA tests prove.
“I think that mothers should not do these things to their children,” she told Dr. Phil.
“If she is my mother, I don’t want to have contact with her that’s all, but I believe she isn’t my mother.”
Julia claims her old family made her take “35 pills from the age of 7.”
Plus she says the mother has “refused to do a DNA test and she refused to answer any calls, texts or other communication.”
But following Julia’s various claims, her family hit back.
Her parents said in a statement: “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 from Julia, her lies and manipulations, activity on the internet… we’ve seen it all and we’ve tried to prevent it, explain it, we’ve asked her to stop.”
“We always tried to help her get back on her feet. Julia has been of age for several years. She moved out of the house. She refuses treatment, does not take medication regularly. She also did not take advantage of the possibility of treatment at a very good center in Poland, which agreed to accept her.”
“Julia once wanted to be a singer, a model. She always wanted to be popular. What’s happening now is she has 1 million followers. The internet won’t forget, and it’s obvious that Julia isn’t Maddie. We are devastated at this current situation.”
However, Julia disagreed with one of their claims.
Julia told Dr. Phil: “I never saw my birth certificate and I didn’t take pictures.”
Dr. Fia also revealed how much money Julia made in her Dr. Phil appearance.
In an Instagram post, she said: “Hello guys – about Dr. Phil if we made money… no. We didn’t actually get a dime to be involved with Dr. Phil’s show.”
“We didn’t receive anything, Julia [didn’t] receive anything, Julia just went on the stage and was herself and told the truth.”
“A lot of you ask if Julia made some sort of money by going to any type of press, Radar for example, all other things… no.”
“We did not pay them anything, they did not pay us anything.”
The DNA results then came in.
Dr. Fia exclusively told Radar Online exactly where she is from, revealing: “She is absolutely 100 percent from Poland.”
“She is a small percentage of Lithuanian and Russian, but the test results show she is Polish.”
This means Julia is not McCann.
Dr. Fia added: “We learned a few things, one being that Julia’s mum is in fact now believed to be her mum, so she is not Madeleine McCann.”
“They’re not 100 percent but they believe that Julia’s mum is in fact her mum. They’re questioning her father’s side. They’re checking into that, that’s part of what they’re doing with the DNA.”
However, Dr. Fia still believes Julia is connected to the McCann case.
“Julia had all the birthmarks as Madeleine McCann which I believe is God and the universe’s way of wanting us to get close to the man who sexually abused her, expose him, and his possible ties to the McCann case.”
“This story is much more complicated than a simple girl from a small town in Poland making a claim to get attention,’ Dr. Fia continued.
“She truly believed what she was saying, and with so many questions about her childhood it is easy to understand where she was coming from.”
Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann then spoke out for the first time since the results came in.
Their representatives issued a statement last night, as per the Mirror, reading: “There isn’t anything to report at this time.”
“If and when there is, it will come from The Metropolitan Police.”
However, Julia then shared an update on Instagram.
“Today was my luckiest day ever. My mentor, my everything comes to my country with so much love and exciting news,” Julia said in a now-deleted Insta story.
“We have lots to reveal,” she continued, per Entertainment Daily.
“I was with her team in the past couple of days, now my dream has come true. I am finally with Fia. Finally, I’m with Dr Fia. I still feel like I’m dreaming sitting with Dr Fia in the car.”
“When it’s time, everything will be published from Fia.”
There was then an update in the tale.
As Kate and Gerry McCann released a heartbreaking statement.
As per MailOnline, they said “hard to find the words” about how they “still very much miss” Madeleine.
They say they are still waiting for a “breakthrough” in the case.
They also shared Clare Pollard’s poem, The Contradiction.
“The absence contradicts itself: the missing conjures what we miss. You are not here, I’m not myself, but still talk to you like this.”
“You’re in the crowd, the news, the glimpse – I make you there when you’re not there. ‘I trace your steps, I map your face, I say your name, see you in air.”
“You’re all I know and so unknown. I cannot hold you yet I do: please let me hold you in my head and where are you now, hold me too.”
“How can you be so near and far? You are not here. But here you are.”
Amelia McCann, Madeleine’s sister, made a public statement at the vigil.
It’s the first time she’s spoken in public.
The Mirror reports that Amelie said at the vigil: “It’s nice that everyone is here together but it’s a sad occasion.”
She also chanted mantras such as ‘never give up’, ‘leave no stone unturned’, ‘don’t forget about me,” and ‘still missing, still missed’ for Maddie.
And now, there’s been another huge update.
As detectives have revealed that they are now focusing their search for Maaddie’s body on one particular reservoir.
A source told MailOnline they “didn’t have a specific lead” but was undertaking an “ongoing investigation.”
“Obviously we remain confident that we will find an element or piece of evidence that will lead to the case being solved but at the moment we are still looking at various elements.”
“We know that the main suspect visited the area frequently and we have spoken to several witnesses who knew him at the time and who have confirmed this.”
“It would be bad police work if we didn’t check everything out but for the time being it’s safe to say there is no new hot lead.”
However, a source close to Prime suspect Christian Brueckner said: “They can search all they want. I will be amazed if they find anything.”