A woman who claims to be Madeleine McCann is causing the missing girl’s parents “unnecessary pain”, sources close to the family say.
Julia Wendell, 21, from Poland, has gone viral after suggesting that she may be the missing child, who disappeared in 2007.
She has been sharing her story on social media where she reveals the reasons that have led her to believe that she is Maddie.
Julia claims to have been a victim of sexual abuse when she was young and says that a German paedophile, who was a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case, was her abuser.
She also points out she has moles in similar positions to Madeleine and also showed that she had a marking in her eye, similar to Maddie’s coloboma, which means her pupil is a different shape.
Madeleine was born in May 2003 – making her 19 years old now – and Julia has claimed her own age of 21 could be incorrect.
Maddie’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, have never given up hope of finding their daughter.
But sources have told The Sun that Julia’s claims may be hurting the family.
They said: “It causes unnecessary pain for Kate and Gerry.
“So many false claims have been made over the years and they don’t need any more.”
The disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007 remains one of the biggest unsolved cases in British history.
Madeleine was three when she vanished from her family’s holiday home in Portugal.
Her parents had left her sleeping with her siblings while they had dinner at the hotel’s restaurant – only realising at about 10pm that she was gone.
The couple have since devoted their lives to finding the little girl – now left with Maddie’s “Cuddle Cat” as one of the last reminders of their daughter.
More than £12 million ($21 million) has been poured into the investigation for her since 2007.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.