Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Politics and Pop Culture: Polish woman claims she might be missing child Madeleine McCann

Just about everyone knows about the little blond girl who vanished from an apartment resort in Praia da Luz when she was just three years old. The disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been one of the most well-known missing-persons cases in history, having received international publicity due to the fact that she vanished seemingly without a trace. The suspicious circumstances of the case led people to believe that McCann’s parents might have had something to do with her disappearance, as they went out to dinner and left McCann and her two siblings alone in an unlocked apartment. However, considering the possible recent development in the case, it would suggest that McCann’s parents really don’t know what happened to their daughter.

Julia Faustyna Wendell is a 21-year-old Polish woman currently living in Germany who took the internet by storm last week when she made public her suspicions that she might actually be the missing child. She said that she reached out to investigators with her claims, but to no avail. Because no officials believed her, Wendell took to Instagram in a last-ditch effort to reach Kate and Gerry McCann, Madeleine McCann’s parents. 

While her age does not match up with the age McCann would be today, Wendell believes she might have been lied to. She claims she has little to no memory from the early years of her childhood and has never seen a photo of her mother from when she was pregnant with her. Wendell has discovered many contradictions within her life and what she has been told; possibly the most suspicious of them is that of her schooling timeline. She recently had a conversation with her kindergarten teacher in which she discovered that she had not attended kindergarten in full. In fact, she joined the class late, in September 2007. McCann went missing in May of that same year. 

Another similarity between the two is their eye defect. Both McCann and Wendell have colomba, a rare condition in which pieces of tissue are missing from the eye, and only one in 10,000 people have this condition. As if this isn’t unlikely enough, Wendell also has various marks and freckles on her body that are identical to McCann’s, including a small mole on her left thigh. 

Perhaps the most compelling piece of evidence to back up Wendell’s claims is the connection she has to Martin Ney, a suspect in McCann’s disappearance. Martin Ney is a German pedophile and serial killer and is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of three children. He was questioned about McCann’s disappearance back in 2007 after a man who fit his description was spotted near the Praia Da Luz apartment. 

Wendell was also sexually abused by a German pedophile. Her abuser's name? Peter Ney. She does not know much about him other than the fact that he has an unidentified son. Julia believes her abuser is Martin Ney’s father. Either this is an extremely freaky coincidence, or there is some sort of connection here. We will find out soon, as Kate and Gerry Mccann have agreed to take a DNA test for Wendell

Many investigators claim to have reason to believe that McCann died the night she went missing. However, no evidence to back this up has ever been released. While I think it is extremely unlikely that Wendell truly is the missing girl, I do believe that something suspicious has happened to her, and I hope she gets to the bottom of it. She has clearly been lied to her entire life, and whether she is Madeleine, Julia or a different missing child, I sympathize with her and I hope she finds out the truth. 

Brianna Tassiello is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the opinions expressed in this article do not represent those of The Post. Want to talk to Brianna? Email her at

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH