Maria has Bulgarian Gypsy Mother?

October 25, 2013

DNA tests have confirmed a Bulgarian Roma couple as the biological parents of mystery child Maria, found in Greece last week, Bulgarian officials say.

They identified the couple as Sasha Ruseva and Atanas Rusev.

The officials are investigating whether the mother had sold the child – a claim she has denied.

Maria was found at a Roma camp in central Greece. Police noticed the lack of resemblance between the blonde girl and the adults she was staying with.

The couple, Christos Salis and Eleftheria Dimopoulou, have since been charged with child abduction. They have insisted the girl was given to them legitimately.

Maria – who was found near Farsala, central Greece – is currently being cared for by the Athens-based charity The Smile of the Child.

There have been thousands of inquiries following an appeal to identify her. The case has also sparked concern over prejudice and racism towards Roma people.
Mother’s story

The child’s parents – Sasha Ruseva and Atanas Rusev – and their eight children, had been filmed earlier by Bulgarian television at their home in the Roma district of the central town of Nikolaevo.

Ms Ruseva, holding a child with red hair, told reporters that she and her husband had been working in the Greek city of Larisa four years ago when she gave birth to a girl.

The girl was seven months old when they had to return to Bulgaria, and she said she could not afford to take the child with her.

She said she was talking to a woman she worked with who told her: “Give me this child, I will take care of it. You can come and take it back any time you want.

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