An unidentified young woman wandering the streets of Rome have led to claims she could be one of three missing girls.
The young woman speaks only English and responds to the name Maria, leading people to suggest she could be Maria-Brigitte Henselmann who disappeared on 2013, or even Madeleine McCann.
She was aged three when she went missing while on vacation in Portugal with her family.
The case has never been solved.
According to reports the blonde girl who was found living rough on the streets of Rome is believed to be in her late teens.
The mystery girl has garnered widespread attention in Italy due to her polite demeanour and inability to speak Italian.
According to reports the girl has no passport or identification adding to her mystery however according to locals she does respond to the name ‘Maria’.
Who is Maria-Brigitte?
She disappeared from Freiburg, Germany in 2013.
When she vanished, reportedly with a 53-year-old man on May 4, she was 13-year-old.
At the time police hunted for her and issued an arrest warrant for the man, as it was said she had met him online before running away.
They were driving a grey car and had a white German shepherd dog with them.
The youngster has never been found, despite an extensive search for her.
What is the theory behind the woman in Rome?
It is thought the girl – who answers to the name Maria – could be from Britain, the US or eastern Europe as she speaks no Italian and responds to questions only in English.
The girl’s plight was highlighted on the Italian TV show Chi l’ha Visto, which features unsolved mysteries and missing persons cases.
After it aired, a number of people came forward to describe instances they have seen her in the Italian capital.
Some online say she could be Madeleine McCann, who was abducted on a family holiday in the Algarve in May 2007. However, photographs of the unidentified woman show she is likely much older than Maddie, who would now only be aged 13.
The Missing Persons of America website stated: “There have been several people that think it may be Madeline McCann who would be 13 now.
“Madeline had a distinctive mark on her eye and it would be easy to tell if it was her by that identification.”
This distinctive mark was a fact widely publicised at the time of Maddie’s disappearance – no such mark is visible on the unidentified woman in Rome.
Another high profile missing child case the woman was linked to was that of American Amanda Adlai, who was allegedly abducted by her father in 2008.
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 have now launched a desperate bid to try to get the girl home and reunited with her family in time for Christmas.
Passionate internet campaigners have also identified several other missing girls that ‘Maria’ also bares a resemblance to including Amanda Adlai who was abducted in Michigan in 2008.
Another potential match could be Maria-Brigitte Henselmann who disappeared from Germany in 2008, however there are still no concrete answers.
In the case of Madeline McCann, police have investigated and interviewed various suspects in that time, 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.
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 still 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.
His comments come just weeks after Home Secretary Theresa May granted police another £95,000 (A$128,000) to extend the search for another six months.