Social Media Detectives: The role of TikTok in the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann


Photo from Flickr, Edited by Alexandra S (Yr12)

Shikha S (Year 9)

A 21-year-old by the name of Julia Faustyna has claimed to be Madeleine McCann, a three-year-old girl who went missing from a family holiday in Portugal in 2007. Fifteen years on from her disappearance, can this assertion finally explain this horrific missing person’s case, or is it yet another rehashing of this incredibly sensitive topic?  

Madeleine McCann: the missing persons case that captured the attention of the world. For almost fifteen excruciating years, police have been searching for Madeleine McCann, a three-year-old girl, who went missing from a holiday apartment in Portugal.  

Over the years, authorities have speculated on what could have possibly happened to Madeleine, with theories including accusations directed towards Gerry and Kate McCann (Madeleine’s Parents), which suggests they hid their daughter’s remains and faked the abduction. 

Recently Julia Faustyna, also known as Julia Wednlet, has taken to social media under the handle @iammadeleinemccann. She has claimed that she does not remember most of her childhood, yet the aspects that she does remember do not add up. Faustyna’s investigation into her own past has led her to believe that she was abducted as a toddler. Many also see a physical similarity between Julia Faustyna and Madeleine McCann, both with a spot in their right iris and a beauty mark on their cheeks. The family of Julia Faustyna had refused to take a DNA test and had evaded her due to her false claims she has been left alone since all of this began.   

Although there are similarities between Julia Faustyna and Madeleine McCann, there is also evidence against her claims. Julia’s real parents have shared that they have several memories and pictures of Julia, as well as a birth certificate and numerous hospital discharges. On top of this, there is an age difference between the two girls with Madeleine McCann now being 19 and Julia Faustyna being 21. A day after Julia’s parents spoke up using this evidence, police ruled out Julia Faustyna’s claims of being Madeleine McCann.  

But this wasn’t the last we saw of her. Less than a week ago Julia and her psychic (Dr Fia) became open to the idea that Julia Faustyna could be any missing person out there. After much research investigators are looking into the possibility that Julia could be missing child Livia Schepp, a Swiss girl who vanished in 2011 with her twin at the age of six. After this, Julia took a DNA test, and investigators are searching to see if it is possible to trace Julia’s results back to Livia’s.   

This whole saga remains a mystery for the foreseeable future. One thing is clear: Julia Faustyna’s claims have reopened various possibilities for what happened to Madeleine McCann those many years ago. For now, Faustyna’s future is clouded in doubt, with investigations confirming whether she really is a missing person.