Folks, sometimes life is unjustly crushing. In 2007, two UK parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, lost their daughter while enjoying a holiday in Portugal. The girl in question was a three-year-old named Madeleine McCann. To this day, it’s uncertain how she disappeared. We just don’t know what happened to this little girl.
In the intervening years, Kate and Gerry have kept asking questions about their daughter. In 2010, they asked the public to “pray like mad” for answers to emerge. In 2011, they released a whole book asking for information.
Additionally, in 2020, this couple said, “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.”
Meanwhile, the UK’s Metropolitan Police and the Portuguese police have both tried to uncover what happened to Madeleine. In April of 2022, Portuguese prosecutors even announced a new kidnapping suspect, Christian Brueckner. However, Brueckner hasn’t been prosecuted for this specific crime, and he probs won’t be charged anytime during 2023.
If Madeleine McCann was still alive today, she would now be 19 years old.
A New McCann Mystery
In February of 2023, 16 years after Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, a young Polish woman has claimed that she might in fact be this missing person. What’s more, she even took to social media to make her case.
“I think I can be Madeleine. I need a DNA test,” said the woman.
This person believes that she could be Madeleine for the following reasons:
- She claims to have the same freckles and markings as Madeleine.
- She claims that she has similar features as Madeleine.
- She claims not to remember much from her childhood.
- She claims that she doesn’t have any photos from her early childhood.
“I have asked for pictures of when my mum was pregnant with me, other medical records, and any pictures from my childhood, and she never shows them, she just always tells me I’m crazy,” said the young woman. “My school teacher, when I was very young, said that I wasn’t there from the start, but my parents insist I was.”
However, it’s worth noting that the Polish woman’s family might have disputed these claims.
“We have memories,” the family allegedly said in a statement. “We have pictures… She took them from the family home with the birth certificate, as well as numerous hospital discharges.”
“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.”
Now, it’s also worth taking this ‘family’ statement with a grain of salt. This is because the website that published this statement isn’t an official government organisation. There’s a strong possibility that this statement was written by some internet trolls and not the Polish woman’s relatives.
You know, this whole situation is just a tragic, tragic mess.
Asking the Million-Dollar Question
Now, for the million-dollar question: Is this young woman Madeleine McCann?
And the answer is: We don’t know yet. None of us have the power to magically test people’s DNA.
Moreover, to speculate whether this woman is Madeleine or is lying is gross. She’s a real person and this isn’t a spin-off of Gone Girl.
Either this woman is Madeleine McCann and she was tragically stolen as a three-year-old. Or she isn’t Madeleine McCann and she has a broken relationship with her family. Both of these options are crushing.
A Harassment Campaign
Warning: This section deals with the topic of targeted violence and may be triggering for some readers.
In a terrible turn, some people online have decided to go against their better judgement. Not only have they unscientifically decided that this Polish woman isn’t Madeleine, but they have also decided to threaten her.
Yup, this Polish woman is now up against “a severe and credible death threat” and has a “price on her head.” All over questioning her identity. These threats have forced this woman to delete her Instagram account and travel from Germany to the United States.
These harassers have achieved nothing. As previously mentioned, the only thing that will move this situation to a conclusion is some DNA tests. All these people have done is scare a young woman.
This harassment campaign has additionally upset Fia Johansson, the representative for the concerned Polish woman. She has stated that these threats are 100% unacceptable.
“Regardless of your opinions, she is a human being who deserves respect,” said Johansson. “Her background was challenging and messy. There is no need to spew hatred, judgement, and especially threats towards a person in need. This is unacceptable and needs to stop.”
If this section brings up any issues for you or anyone you know, or you have experienced targeted violence, please contact Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), both of which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.
DNA Tests Have Happened
At this point, the only good that this messy situation can do is to excavate the truth. Which, hopefully, might happen sometime in the future. This is because this young woman has taken three DNA tests and a 23andMe-esque test to determine her ancestry.
Johansson confirmed this fact, saying, “If the results come back that she’s British or from that area, then we are going to continue our investigation into Madeleine McCann and communicate with the detectives in Portugal.”
In the same statement, Johansson also said that there was lots of proof that her client was “definitely trafficked to Poland from another country” and “definitely not the biological daughter of her parents in Poland.”
What’s more, a member of the McCann family has allegedly agreed to take a DNA test. If this is true, then establishing the facts will be a lot easier.
As a source told The Daily Star, “The family are taking no chances, they are willing to look at all leads.”
“If what she says is true, there is every chance it could be her.”
This is all good news, as one of Johansson and her client’s original plans to get someone from the Polish woman’s family to take a DNA test fell through.
“We have asked her family for a DNA test, but her mother blocked her, and they refused to even take our calls,” said Johansson. “We can’t get a court order to force them to because there is a law against it in Poland.”
Is This Polish Woman Livia Schepp?
Warning: This section deals with the topic of suicide and may be triggering for some readers.
In 2011, two six-year-old Swiss girls, Alessia and Livia Schepp, went missing. Their disappearance happened while they were holidaying with their father, Matthias Schepp, in Italy and France. This fact shattered their mother, Irina Lucidi, and a massive hunt for these children was subsequently actioned.
In a letter obtained by Swiss police, Matthias claimed to have killed his twins. To make matters worse, Matthias was not available for questioning, as he had jumped in front of a train in Italy.
However, because the bodies of Alessia and Livia were never discovered, some people believe that they might still be alive. One such person who has considered this idea is the previously discussed Polish woman. She has even taken a DNA test to determine if she is instead Livia.
Johansson has told The Sun that her client is “very open to the idea that she may be Livia Schepp.”
“We are investigating if it’s possible to check her DNA with that of missing Livia.”
“I’ve spoken to her about this, noted Johansson, “and she is open to the fact she could be any missing child out there, not just Madeleine.”
If this section brought up any issues for you or anyone you know, or you are experiencing suicidal ideation or are at risk, please contact Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) or Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636), all of which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.
The Facial Recognition Controversy
As of March 22, there’s a chance that none of the previously discussed DNA tests have come back. And even if they have, this Polish woman hasn’t released the results.
However, these facts have encouraged the tech company Deep Impact to take a big swing. Deep Impact is claiming that its facial recognition software has determined that this Polish woman cannot be Madeleine McCann. They’re saying that it’s 99% impossible.
“Her childhood photos were matched with her current face and also a current photo with a photo of Maddie,” said Deep Impact’s CEO, Christian Fehrlin.
“The results were very clear. It is impossible.”
Deep Impact has stated that this facial recognition tech is used by police forces and government institutes around our Earth. Yet, it’s worth noting that facial recognition tech can be simply wrong. It’s not as accurate as a DNA test.
This news isn’t the end of these minefields. There’s certainly more to come.
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