The mystery of the young blonde ‘homeless’ woman found in Rome who the internet thought was missing girl Madeleine McCann might have been solved.
A man has come forward claiming to be her father, saying his daughter is a Swedish national with Asperger’s syndrome.
Speculation swirled ferociously over the past few days with passionate internet campaigners believing the pair bore a striking resemblance to the still missing Madeleine McCann.
McCann vanished from the Praia da Luz holiday resort in Portugal in May 2007.
She was aged three when she went missing while on vacation with her family.
The case has never been solved.
According to The Sun, Tahvo Jauhojärvi has revealed the pain of seeing his daughter, Embla, reported as ‘homeless’.
It was initially believed the homeless woman was a teen, but according to her father she is aged 21 and the pair haven’t been in contact for the past six months.
Italian authorities have confirmed her identity The Sun reports.
Her father has told The Sun she left Sweden to study Italian in May and the pair had since lost touch.
“She had been missing for six months at least now. I knew she went to Italy to study the Italian language several months ago,” her father told The Sun.
“She stopped contacting everyone, any family, she just wanted to break away and start her own life because she has Asperger’s as well.
“I have contacted the Swedish police and they have contacted Interpol and they have contacted the Swedish embassy in Rome so I can get her home – and I hope she’ll want to go home.”
The mystery girl had initially garnered widespread attention in Italy due to her polite demeanour and inability to speak Italian.
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According to reports, the girl has no passport or identification. Adding to her mystery, according to locals, she did respond to the name ‘Maria’.
However local authorities have said she has also given them other names.
Other reports state that the girl answers questions in English and refused to accept money.
The girl is believed to have no belongings and has reportedly been wearing the same long tan skirt, rain jacket and black male shoes for an extended period of time.
A group of internet campaigners launched at the time a desperate bid to try to get the mystery girl home and reunited with the McCann family in time for Christmas.
In the case of Madeline McCann, police have investigated and interviewed various suspects, taking over 1,338 statements.
Recently a spokesman for the McCanns said: “Kate and Gerry remain incredibly grateful to the officers working on Operatin Grange and to the Met in general.
“They have always said that in the absence of any evidence that would suggest that Madeleine has come to serious harm, it is perfectly logical to believe that their daughter may still be alive.”
If McCann is still alive she would be 13.
Police searching for McCann are still hopeful that she may yet be found alive as the investigation into her disappearance continues.
Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Duthie, the head of Scotland Yard’s homicide squad, said that work was “ongoing” into the hunt for Maddie and that there was hope that she would still turn up.