From Instagram lives to DNA tests: A full timeline of Julia’s Madeleine McCann saga
I can’t believe all of this has happened in two weeks
For two weeks, the entire world has been hooked on the story of a 21-year-old Polish girl who thinks she holds the key to the biggest mystery of this generation. She thinks she’s Madeleine McCann.
Her videos have been viewed tens of millions of times, police have spoken out, and even the McCann family themselves have been involved. No matter what you think of Julia Faustyna – her story is captivating, and we’ve all stopped to listen.
From start to finish, here is a full timeline of everything that has happened since Julia first claimed she could be Madeleine McCann.
February 15th – Julia went on an Instagram live and claimed she is Madeleine McCann
This whole saga started when Julia launched her Instagram page and went live for the first time. The initial video went viral on February 15th. In it, Julia stated she is 21-years-old but isn’t sure of her real identity or age. She claimed she has similar spots on her body to Madeleine, who has a spot on her leg, and showed a number of similar marks on her body.
In the video she was clearly reading out questions as they came in live, and she was asked when she first started thinking she might have been Madeleine McCann. “A few months ago,” she said. “It was something I heard from my grandma.” She went on to say she tried to get a copy of her birth certificate, but she could only get told information about herself over the phone.
At this point, @iammadeleinemccan on Instagram had 15k followers.
February 16th – The Tab spoke to Julia, who said her parents didn’t want to talk to her about her claims
The morning after she first went viral, The Tab reached out to Julia to ask her about her beliefs. Julia said she’d reached out to police multiple times but was told they will not be investigating. “I called my local police, Capital city police, the MET police, Portugal police and Crimestoppers,” she said. “A few months ago I talked with Operation Grange, too.” Operation Grange was set up in 2011 to look at the case of Madeleine McCann.
She said following reaching out to the authorities, she was made to believe they would not be looking into her case, as it was a closed investigation.
Julia told The Tab she’d spoken to her family about her beliefs too, but they didn’t want to talk to her about it. “[My] mother didn’t want to talk about it,” she said. “She said the past is in the past and she is not going to talk about the past. She said now is the future and we should focus on the future. My dad said, ‘even if I am not your father will it change anything?’”.
February 19th – It was reported the McCann family had agreed to a DNA test
Then came the big news that someone from the McCann family had seen Julia’s story, and agreed to a DNA test. “The family are taking no chances, they are willing to look at all leads,” a source said. “It is important they look at all of the factors, the girl does look similar. There’s no disputing that. If what she says is true, there is every chance it could be her. It all adds up.”
February 20th – Julia built up all her ‘evidence’
Whilst all of this was going on, Julia was posting her “evidence” on her Instagram account, which was now up to 100k followers. The main pieces of evidence shared were a number of physical similarities she shares with Madeleine McCann.
As well as this, she said she was victim to a German paedophile, who looks similar to pictures shared on the Find Madeleine page, claimed she looks like Kate and Gerry McCann, and doesn’t recall any of her childhood.
“I don’t remember most of my childhood but my earliest memory is very strong and it’s about holidays in hot place where there was a beach and white or very light coloured buildings with apartments,” she said. “I don’t see my family in this memory.”
February 21st – Julia shared proof she’s spoken to police, for people who didn’t believe her
Loads of people don’t believe Julia, and one of the biggest doubts people had was if she’d even been in contact with police like she said. So, Julia posted email screenshots between herself and Operation Grange. She said she had called them too, “for people who don’t believe I tried to contact Operation Grange.”
February 22nd – ‘I am Madeleine McCann’ Instagram account hit one million followers
On February 22nd, exactly one week after first going viral, Julia’s Instagram account hit one million followers. Her account got so big, and requests to speak to her so frequent, Julia got a representative at this point.
Her Instagram and email accounts were being managed by Dr Fia Johansson – who previously claimed Madeleine is alive and living in Germany. Dr Fia is a psychic medium, actress and author who has apparently worked with the US police because she believes Madeleine is alive.
February 22nd – Julia’s real parents speak out
In a video shared to her Instagram account, Julia shared messages between herself and her parents. She said her family has shunned her, and she’s been left “alone” since all of this happened.
She said her family has called her “not normal” for giving “hope to the McCanns”. She said her family branded her a “horrible person” who they “don’t want to know any more”. She claimed one message from her mother said “you are sick, Julia” and accused her of “setting up a circus”.
Julia said the messages added: “I’m selling the house and none of us will answer the phone if you call, for everything you’ve done and the embarrassment you’ve put me through.”
February 22nd – A Madeleine McCann private investigator says they don’t think Julia is the missing girl
Amid all of this happening, those closest to the original Madeleine McCann case were sharing what they thought. Francisco Marco, an investigator who was hired by Madeleine McCann’s parents, doubted Julia’s authenticity and said he doesn’t believe she holds the answers to the case.
He told Spanish newspaper El Independiente : “Without knowing the details in depth, it doesn’t add up to me. I don’t think it’s her.”
February 24nd – Julia claims to have overheard her mum previously say ‘we took her’
Just when we thought we’d heard all her evidence, Julia recalled an old conversation of her mother’s she’d overheard. Her rep told The Sun all about it.
“What we found after some digging into this is that she overheard her mom saying something along the lines of ‘I don’t know why we have this girl, she has always been a troublemaker since we took her’,” Dr Fia said. “Since then she started to question what was going on and whether her parents were her true parents.”
February 27th – Julia’s real parents share evidence to prove their daughter is ‘telling lies’
Then, in a huge twist, Julia’s own parents snapped back, and shared proof which directly goes against the claims she’d made. They said: “For us as a family it is obvious that Julia is our daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin and step niece. We have memories, we have pictures. Julia also has these photos, because she took them from the family home with the birth certificate, as well as numerous hospital discharges.”
The family went on to say Julia is spreading “lies on the internet” and accused her of sending threats to their home address. “We always tried to understand all situations that happened with Julia,” the family continued. “Threats to our address from Julia, her lies and manipulations, activity on the internet.
“We’ve seen it all and we’ve tried to prevent it, to explain, we’ve asked her to stop. We always tried to help her get back on her feet. Julia has been of age for several years. She has moved out of the house. Julia once wanted to be a singer, a model. She always wanted to be popular. What’s happening now she got one million followers.
“We’re afraid Julia will carry the inevitable. The internet won’t forget, and it’s obvious that Julia isn’t Maddie. We are devastated at this current situation.”
February 28th – Police ‘rule out’ Julia’s claims
A day after her parents spoke out, Polish police also dismissed Julia. Pawel Noga of the Provincial Police Headquarters in Wroclaw, confirmed the claims have been “ruled out” and police in Poland do not think there is any indication Julia could be Madeleine.
March 1st – Julia now claims she could be another missing child too
It really started to get messy now, as Julia and Dr Fia said they are “open” to the idea Julia could be “any” missing child out there right now. Investigators are reportedly looking into whether Julia could actually be missing child Livia Schepp, a Swiss girl who disappeared in 2011 with her twin Alessia, aged six.
Dr Fia said: “Julia is very open to the idea that she may be Livia Schepp and we are investigating this possibility. I’ve spoken to her about this and she is open to the fact she could be any missing child out there – not just Madeleine. Julia just wants to know the truth about who she is.
“Julia has taken a DNA test and we are investigating if it’s possible to check her DNA with that of missing Livia. We are investigating all possibilities at this stage.”
March 2nd – ‘I am Madeleine McCann’ Instagram account is taken down
The whole saga looks pretty much over – for now – as the viral Instagram account has been taken down. Dr Fia has accused troll accounts of sending “lies” to Instagram, which has lead to the account being suspended.
As of publishing this timeline, Julia Faustyna’s ‘I am Madeleine McCann’ Instagram account is still unavailable.