(NewsNation) — The McCann family has agreed to a DNA test to see if a woman claiming to be their missing daughter is legitimate.
Julia Faustyna, a 21-year-old Polish woman, has come forward with claims she is the missing child. Although Madeleine McCann would only be 19, Faustyna has said she doesn’t believe her age is accurate. Faustyna also goes by the names Julia Wendell and Julia Wandelt.
Faustyna has taken to social media, posting photos of herself and Madeleine McCann side by side to highlight similarities, including rare eye condition, dimples and similarly placed freckles and moles.
Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Bober told NewsNation the fact that Faustyna came forward on social media instead of contacting the McCanns could be a red flag.
“Why wouldn’t I contact them privately? Or why wouldn’t I call Scotland Yard or some police department and do it anonymously?” He said.
Faustyna claims she has few memories of her childhood as a result of trauma.
“People who go through serious trauma can have repressed memories, because the memories are so overwhelming and so painful, that the mind actually disconnects from them,” Bober said.
However, he said memories can also be unreliable and people may be prone to the power of suggestion and inadvertently create false memories.
Faustyna’s family has denied the claims and said she suffers from psychiatric issues but has refused treatment.
Madeleine McCann disappeared 16 years ago from a hotel room in Portugal, where her family was on vacation from the UK. Her parents said they were out to dinner with friends just steps from the resort and that they checked on their children regularly. However, when they checked the room a final time at 10 p.m., Madeleine’s two siblings were present but she was gone.
The case has never been closed, though Portugese police believe Madeleine McCann was killed in an accident and her parents covered it up. The McCanns have maintained their daughter was kidnapped and Scotland Yard has investigated the case as an abduction.
The McCann family has not commented publicly on Faustyna’s claims, but a spokesperson for the family said they have agreed to a DNA test that would definitively prove if Faustyna is their missing daughter.