Woman who thinks she is Madeleine McCann given '90% verdict' by facial recognition software

20 March 2023, 10:48 | Updated: 20 March 2023, 11:14

Julia Wendell hit the headlines when she claimed to be missing Madeleine McCann
Julia Wendell hit the headlines when she claimed to be missing Madeleine McCann. Picture: Social Media/Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A woman who thinks she is Madeleine McCann has been given a near-conclusive verdict after a test by a Swiss facial recognition software company.

Julia Wendell, 21, controversially claimed she was Madeleine on social media, who was last seen on a family holiday in Portugal in 2007.

Ms Wendell, who has helped by private detective and self-proclaimed medium Dr Fia Johansson, is currently awaiting results from DNA samples and a genetic test.

But Ava-X, a facial recognition firm in Switzerland, say their face recognition software found that Julia is extremely unlikely to be Madeleine, giving a verdict of 90 per cent.

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

Julia Wendell and her spokesperson and self-proclaimed medium Dr Fia Johansson
Julia Wendell and her spokesperson and self-proclaimed medium Dr Fia Johansson. Picture: Social Media

Read More: Woman who claims to be Madeleine McCann in 'poor health and may have leukaemia'

It follows claims by Dr Johansson that Ms Wendell has been in poor health recently after medical tests found her blood work to be "abnormal".

The doctor, who acts as Ms Wendell's spokesperson, told The Sun she “has bad asthma" and "suffers lots of pain in her bones".

“She is booked in for a CT and MRI scan because of the pain in her bones.

Read More: Woman who thinks she is Madeleine McCann could be American family's 'missing daughter'

Madeleine McCann was last seen on a family holiday in Portugal in 2007
Madeleine McCann was last seen on a family holiday in Portugal in 2007. Picture: Alamy

"Her blood work is also abnormal so my doctor here in the US is investigating whether she could have leukaemia so we are awaiting the results of that.

"And if she needs any treatment we will make sure she gets that."

Ms Wendell's claims have spread so far that Google Search appeared to have adjusted the photo to Julia, instead of pictures of Madeleine.

This is most likely in error as the search engine's image results feature shows the top-ranking Google Images for the search term in question.

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