Woman claiming to be Madeleine McCann denies stealing birth certificate from family
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The Polish woman who claims to believe she's Madeleine McCann has denied accusations that she stole her own birth certificate and childhood photos from the family she grew up with.
Julia Wendell addressed the accusations as she appeared on the American chat show Dr. Phil earlier this week, after gaining attention online with the bold claim that she is McCann, the British girl who went missing from Portugal in 2007.
Wendell, 21, is currently awaiting the results of a DNA test which she hopes will offer some answers about her true identity, but her family have repeatedly disputed the claims that she isn't their biological child.
In a statement released last month, they argued it is 'obvious that Julia is our daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin and step niece'.
"We have memories, we have pictures,” the family said.
The family went on to stress that Wendell knew the images existed, alleging she 'took them from the family home with the birth certificate, as well as numerous hospital discharges'.
Dr Phil referenced these claims when Wendell appeared on the show, but Wendell was quick to deny that she was in possession of any such items.
"I never saw my birth certificate," she said. "And I didn't take pictures."
Dr Fia Johansson, a private investigator and psychic medium who has been working with Wendell, backed the Polish woman's claims as she told Dr Phil her team had been in contact with the hospital where Wendell's mum said she had given birth, and failed to find any evidence.
“We didn’t find anything and they said ‘we don’t have any here’," Johansson claimed. "So we went to another hospital they said the same thing; ‘we don’t have any here’. So we go to the third one and they said ‘we don’t have any’."
As well as a lack of birth certificate and photos, Wendell has claimed her mother would change the subject whenever she asked about her ancestry or birth, and said there was no information entered into a health book to document the first six years of her life.
McCann was just three years old when she went missing, and would now be 19 - two years younger than Wendell. However, the Polish woman has alleged that her lack of birth certificate means her date of birth could be inaccurate.
Wendell's family have said they've 'asked [Julia] to stop' her 'lies and manipulations' and 'activity on the internet'.
"We’ve seen it all and we’ve tried to prevent it, to explain," they said.