Bulgarian woman the mum of mystery child Maria
After a mystery blonde girl was discovered living in a Roma camp in Greece last week, a DNA test has linked the girl with a woman and man in Bulgaria.PT1M3S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2w7xt 620 349 October 26, 2013
DNA tests have confirmed a Bulgarian Roma couple as the biological parents of Maria, a mystery blond girl whose discovery in a Greek Roma camp last week made global headlines.
Sasha Ruseva, 35, and her husband Atanas, 38 were confirmed as Maria's biological mother and father by DNA testing 24 hours after police traced them to their home, in a Roma settlement on the edge of the small town of Nikolaevo.
"DNA samples showed that Sasha Ruseva is the biological mother and Atanas Rusev is the biological father of the child called Maria," Bulgaria's interior ministry chief of staff Svetlozar Lazarov told reporters.
Authorities have identified a Bulgarian Roma couple as the parents of the girl named Maria, who was found living with a Roma couple that had no resemblance to her in central Greece on Monday.
The girl, aged somewhere between four and six, was found living with a Greek Roma couple in a camp near the town of Farsala.
DNA tests showed that the 39-year-old man and 40-year-old woman taking care of her were not her real parents.
The couple were accused of abducting the girl, amid an international effort to find here real parents that gave hopes to hundreds of missing children parents across the world.
40 year-old Selini Sali (or Eleftheria Dimolpoulou) and 39 year-old Christos Salis sit with a four-year-old girl reportedly named Maria, who was found living with the Roma couple in central Greece on Monday. The Roma couple have been charged with abduction. Photo: Getty Images
The two denied the accusations, saying that the little girl was voluntarily handed over to them by her Bulgarian Roma mother who could not care for her.
Following reports in the Greek media pointing to the identity of the mother, Bulgarian police tracked down on Thursday a Bulgarian Roma couple from the central town of Nikolaevo, and questioned them on the Maria case.
Mrs Ruseva, a mother of nine other children, admitted she had left the girl in Greece several years ago because she could not afford to keep her, but insisted that she now wanted her back.
But the Roma couple with whom four-year-old Maria was discovered said they planned to seek legal custody.
AFP and wires