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Madeleine McCann’s parents skip vigil – but ‘Maddie faker’ turns up demanding DNA test

Madeleine McCann's parents skip vigil - but 'Maddie faker' turns up demanding DNA test
Kate and Gerry McCann were said by a family member to be away at an undisclosed location on a ‘much needed’ break (Picture: Getty/Shutterstock)

The parents of Madeleine McCann did not attend a prayer vigil marking the 17th anniversary of her disappearance last night – but a Polish woman who insists she is the missing Brit bizarrely did.

Kate and Gerry McCann were said by a family member to be away at an undisclosed location on a ‘much needed’ break.

But a message from them was read out to the friends and well-wishers gathered at their local parish church in Rothley, Leicestershire, by vicar the Rev. Robert Gladstone.

It began: ‘Good evening, we are sorry that we cannot be with you tonight but we thank you for coming together and wanting to share your hope for Madeleine and other missing children.

‘It’s 17 years since Madeleine was taken from us. It’s hard to even say that number without shaking our heads in disbelief.’

Echoing the update they earlier posted to social media, they added: ‘Whilst we are fortunate in many ways and able to live a relatively normal and enjoyable life now, the “living in limbo” is still very unsettling. And the absence still aches.’

Julia Wendell, 22, who has made headlines worldwide as the ‘Maddie faker’, listened on accompanied by a friend, clutching a letter she said she wanted to give Kate and Gerry.

FILE - Gerry, left, and Kate McCann, parents of four-year old Madeleine McCann, missing from the Portuguese town of Praia Da Luz since May, present a picture of their daughter during a press conference in Berlin, Wednesday, June 6, 2007. A man who is also a suspect in the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann goes on trial Friday over several sexual offenses he is alleged to have committed in Portugal between 2000 and 2017. (AP Photo/Sven Kaestner, File)
Gerry, left, and Kate McCann left a message to be read to friends and well-wishers (Picture: AP)
Grabs from Dr Phill - Youtube Fake Madeleine McCann apologises to the missing girl's parents in 17-page statement weeks after being exposed as a fraud who impersonated three other missing girls A Polish woman who claimed she was Madeleine McCann in an internet post that became a global sensation has apologised to the missing girl's parents. Julia Wendell, 21, made headlines around the world earlier this year after she uploaded her spurious theories on social media with the user name '@IamMadeleineMcCann'. Her claims led to Wendell even appearing on a popular US TV show after being flown across the Atlantic by American media personality Dr Fia Johansson to discuss the far-fetched possibility.
Julia Wendell, 22, who has made headlines worldwide as the ‘Maddie faker’, attended the vigil (Picture: Youtube)

Speaking after the service, she said: ‘I am Madeleine McCann. I have never stopped believing it and I have come here because I want to ask Kate and Gerry to do a DNA test.

‘They haven’t done one thing to prove I am not their daughter.’

She added: ‘No I am not crazy. I am not a liar.’

Earlier this week, it was confirmed that up to a further £192,000 has been granted by the Home Office for the Scotland Yard investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance.

The confirmation of the latest annual funding for Operation Grange was revealed in a parliamentary written answer by Home Office minister Lord Sharpe of Epsom.

He also said that as of March this year, the Metropolitan Police had spent £13.2 million investigating the high-profile case.

(FILES) An undated handout photograph released by the Metropolitan Police in London on June 3, 2020, shows Madeleine McCann who disappeared in Praia da Luz, Portugal on May 3, 2007. The main suspect in the disappearance of little British girl Madeleine McCann, almost 17 years ago, will be tried on February 16, 2024 in Germany on five charges in several separate cases of rape and abuse of minors. (Photo by Handout / METROPOLITAN POLICE / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT
Madeleine vanished on May 3 2007 while on holiday with her parents in Praia da Luz, Portugal (Picture: AFP via Getty)

The prime suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance is currently on trial in Germany charged with unrelated sex offences, allegedly committed in Portugal between 2000 and 2017.

The 47-year-old German, only known as Christian B because of the country’s strict privacy laws, spent many years in Portugal – including in Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.

He is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence in Germany for the rape of an elderly woman at her home in the resort town in 2005.

He had denied all the charges against him and any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance.

In June last year, German prosecutors said they cannot yet link items seized in the fresh McCann searches with the investigation into her disappearance.

A large section of the Barragem do Arade area of the Algarve was cordoned in May 2023, around 30 miles from where Madeleine went missing.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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