Private investigator believes Polish girl claiming to be Madeleine McCann should 'absolutely' be taken seriously

A private investigator believes the young Polish woman claiming to be Madeleine McCann should "absolutely" be taken seriously.

It's been 16 years since the UK toddler disappeared from a hotel room in Portugal, while her parents were having dinner nearby. 

And, in a recent new twist in the ongoing investigation into her disappearance, a Polish woman named Julia Faustyna claiming to be the missing girl posted pictures on social media to show their physical similarities and demanding Madeleine's parents take a DNA test. 

Private investigator John Borland said people should "absolutely" take Faustyna's claims seriously until it can be ruled out she's Madeleine.

"The claim made hasn't been supported by anything other than some media reports and the police… are suggesting that there is no connection but they haven't provided any evidence or facts that tie that to that outcome," Borland told The Project.

"I think, at this stage, it absolutely needs to be taken seriously."

Borland, from New Zealand private investigations firm Isacop, said he was optimistic Madeleine's parents would eventually get closure - regardless of the outcome of Faustyna's claims.

"It may not be tomorrow, it may not be for another year or 10 years but I'd like to think there will be closure at some stage," he said. "To what effect that is, I don't know."

Three years ago, police declared German paedophile Christian Brueckner as their prime suspect, claims he denies. To date, he has yet to be charged in relation to Madeleine's disappearance.