A photo of a young girl spotted on the streets of Italy and posted to an American missing person’s website has led to a global search to uncover her identity.
Many have speculated the young woman — who has been sleeping rough in Rome but won’t accept speaks no Italian — could be missing British toddler Madeleine McCann who vanished from a Portuguese holiday resort in May 2007, but a Swedish man has now come forward claiming to be her father.
The mystery girl’s picture first appeared on Missing Persons of America via Roman woman Lorena Kollobani who wrote: “She doesn’t accept nothing. I always see her alone but just these 3 weeks,” (sic) she wrote after speculating the girl might be a foreign student.
“Before I never saw her around Rome centre.”
Many have speculated over the mystery girl's identity. Source: Facebook
According to the reports, the girl has few belongings and is always seen in the same long tan skirt, rain jacket and black male shoes.
She no passport or identification but locals says she responds to the name "Maria".
The girl has no ID but locals says she responds to the name "Maria". Source: Facebook
An enormous amount of speculation has circulated around girl's identity, with many noting her vague resemblance to McCann who would now 13.
Other wild theories include that she could be missing Australian Leela McDougall who disappeared with her mother, cult leader father and a family friend in Western Australia in 2007.
She has also been linked with Michican girl Amanda Adlai and Maria-Brigitte Henselman, who was last seen in Germany, neither have been seen since 2008.
In fact, a Swedish man, Tahvo Jauhojarvi, has now contacted Missing Persons of America claiming the girl is his lost daughter Embla Jauhojarvi who has Asperger's syndrome and left home to study in Milan earlier this year.
"She had been missing for six months at least now. I knew she went to Italy to study the Italian language several months ago,” Jauhojarvi 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.
"She’s looking like a bag lady, homeless, and she doesn’t have any belongings, no clothes, any cellphone.
"She could have been in some kind of shock, I don’t know what she’s done there or what has happened to her. I don’t want to think about this."