Woman claiming to be Madeleine McCann grew up ‘where people wouldn’t notice’

New details about the upbringing of the Polish woman who claims to be missing Madeleine McCann have emerged, which an investigator reckons explain how she may have gone undetected for nearly 15 years.

Julia Wendell, 21, has set social media and news outlets alight by claiming that she is Madeleine – the British girl from Leicestershire who went missing in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007.

Her claims – such as having a speck in her eye like Madeleine did at the time of her disappearance, or that she doesn't remember large parts of her childhood – have seen her garner more than one million Instagram followers in a matter of days.

READ MORE: Woman who thinks she's Madeleine McCann 'wasn't safe' after making explosive claims

She also claims that she was abused by a German paedophile who looks like someone who was once a suspect in Madeleine's disappearance.

Most of her communications with the public have been via Instagram or through medium and private investigator Dr Fia Johansson, who is probing the claims.

And it is Dr Johansson who has now shed some light on the girl's life as a child.

She was speaking to the Fitzy and Wippa radio show podcast in Australia – although several key details, such as the name of where Julia grew up, were blanked out – presumably for legal and safety reasons.

She said: “They are living in a very small town where they wouldn't have had TV or news going on.

“It is not like other places that are big cities, it was a very, very, very small town.

“We are investigating right now her teachers, her school, friends and also close family members to figure out what exactly is going on.

  • Polish woman in Madeleine McCann claim 'might be other missing girl last seen in 2011'

“There's a lot of people who say 'oh she's 21, she shouldn't be 21', but…a fake birth certificate could be two years younger or two years older, especially when you're talking about that town and that place.

“My sense is that something is missing – there is a puzzle that is not really connecting with each other.”

Julia has called on the woman who brought her up to take a DNA test, and has also offered to take one for Madeleine's real parents, Gerry and Kate.

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