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Facial recognition software gives verdict on Polish woman claiming to be Madeleine McCann

Julia Wandelt (21) made headlines recently when she shared a series of videos online claiming to be the young British girl

Julia Wandelt and Madeleine McCann

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

A Swiss company has used a “face matching” technology to determine whether a Polish woman who claims she may be Madeleine McCann is the real deal.

Julia Wandelt (21), who also goes by Julia Faustyna or Julia Wendell, made headlines recently when she shared a series of videos online claiming to be the young British girl who disappeared from Praia da Luz in 2007.

Using the Instagram account @IamMadeleineMcCann, she told viewers that she has collected a bank of “evidence” that proves she is the child at the centre of one of the world’s most notorious missing person cases.

She pointed out that she has the same misshapen pupil of her right eye, known as a coloboma, as shown in photos of Madeleine as a toddler and claimed that she has never seen her birth certificate despite asking her mother to see it “many times”.

And while she is 21 years old and Madeleine would only be 19 today, Julia believes that her age may have been changed by potential kidnappers to avoid suspicion.

She has reportedly submitted DNA samples to determine whether she has any ties to Kate and Gerry McCann.

However, a Swiss artificial intelligence company has disputed her claims after using facial recognition software.

Ava-X studied photos of both Julia and Madeleine in detail using “face matching” technology, reports.

The software, which was developed to help police identify offenders and reunite missing people with their families, failed to provide a match between the two girls.

They analysed a childhood image of the Julia and compared it to one of her as an adult, which provided a match, but the result was negative when a photo of Madeleine was used.

“It's practically impossible for the young Pole to be Maddie,” Ava-X boss Christian Fehrlin told Blick.

When asked about the chances of Julia being the missing girl, Fehrlin said he was 90pc sure that they were two different people.

Meanwhile, Julia’s family have called out “her lies” in a public statement as they asked her to stop making videos about her theories.

The statement, shared to a Polish missing persons page on Facebook, said: “It is obvious to us as a family that Julia is our daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin and stepdaughter. We have memories, we have pictures.

“Julia also owns these photos because she took them from the family home along with her birth certificate.

“We have always tried to understand any situations that happened with Julia. Numerous therapies, medications, psychologists and psychiatrists were all provided to Julia.

"She was not left alone. Threats at our address from Julia, her lies and manipulations, activities on the Internet. We've seen it all, and we've tried to prevent it, explain it, we've asked her to stop”.

They continued: “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 centre 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 has given her one million followers.

"We're scared if Julia will carry the inevitable. The Internet does not forget, and it is obvious that Julia is not Maddie.

“We are devastated by the current situation. At the same time, we want to state that we will not give interviews, publish any photos, comment on articles.”

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