Phone seized by cops probing case of woman who claimed she is Madeleine McCann

18 April 2023, 09:42 | Updated: 18 April 2023, 10:02

Phone believed to belong to Julia Wendell seized by police in California
Phone believed to belong to Julia Wendell seized by police in California. Picture: social media/alamy

By StephenRigley

Police have seized a phone believed to belong to the woman who claimed to be Madeleine McCann, it has emerged.

Sources say that the phone was voluntarily handed to police who carried out a search of the house where Julia Wendell was staying in California after private investigator/celebrity medium Dr Fia Johansson took her to America.

Orange County Sheriff's department has told Polish police in Wroclaw but declined to go into further details.

Department Spokesman Sgt. Mike Woodroof told RadarOnline: "Our investigation is taking a deep look into it and we’re going to let them do their investigative duties and then from that point let the judicial system take over – if it needs to.”

Dr Fia Johansson with Julia Wendell
Dr Fia Johansson with Julia Wendell. Picture: social media

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Julia sparked a worldwide storm after claiming she was Madeleine. Her original Instagram account iammadeleinemccan had more than one million followers before it was deactivated.

Private investigator and celebrity medium Dr Johansson took her to California after she received death threats in Poland. She was given power of attorney over the 21-year-old and appeared alongside her on US talk show Dr Phil.

After the DNA test proved she was not Madeleine, Julia returned to Poland and has said that Dr Fia Johansson was "trying to scare" her adding that she’s no longer sure whether the “medium” ever wanted to help at all.

"When I first met Fia for the first time I thought she wanted to help me,” she said. "Now I know she wants only new followers, new clients."

Julia has pledged to take a fresh DNA test after the original test proved she was mostly Polish and could not be Madeleine.

Julia Wendell who has claimed to be Madeleine McCann
Julia Wendell who has claimed to be Madeleine McCann. Picture: social media
Madeleine McCann vanished in 2007
Madeleine McCann vanished in 2007. Picture: Alamy

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Writing on her Instagram page, Julia said: "I want to do this because I just want to do this, and I don't even have to explain why but I think everyone knows why I want to do this. When the results come, I will let you know everything.”

She also apologised to Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann expressing her disappointment over the results – yet insisting she could still be the missing toddler.

Dr Johansson has said that Julia is probably shook by the reality that she is not Madeleine.

Madeleine vanished on a family holiday to Portugal in 2007 aged three.

Scotland Yard cops investigating what happened are set to be given another £300,000 to keep the case going.