Julia Faustyna most likely not Madeleine McCann, analysis concludes

The Polish woman who became an internet sensation after claiming to be missing British girl Madeleine McCann is most likely not the girl who was abducted in Portugal in 2007, a facial recognition analysis concluded.

Julia Faustyna, who is also listed in some reports as Julia Wendell or Julia Wandelt, failed to match photos of McCann in a facial recognition comparison of the two.

Soon after Faustyna, 21, claimed to be the missing British girl, Swiss AI company Ava-X ran photos of her and McCann through its Iris facial recognition software, the Swiss newspaper Blick reported.

“It’s practically impossible for the young Pole to be Maddie,” Ava-X’s co-founder Christian Fehrlin concluded.

Fehrlin noted that while childhood and adult photos of Faustyna matched — a comparison between photos of McCann and Faustyna did not.

“That scored a hit,” Fehrlin said. “However, when we did the same with Maddie’s picture, no match could be found.”

Ava-X’s technology breaks the image of a person’s face up into different parts and then checks if the parts match any other images in other databases, Fehrlin explained.

Faustyna claimed she first heard that she was the missing girl from her grandmother a few months ago, and has tried to prove her case by sharing physical similarities between herself and McCann — including a distinct brown smudge on each girl’s right iris.


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