Family Found: DNA From Roma Girl ‘Maria’ Matches Bulgarian Couple

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Maria, was taken in by authorities after she was found in a Roma community near Farsala, Greece.
(Credit: Greek police)

DNA tests prove that a Roma couple living in Bulgaria are the biological parents of a blond, blue-eyed girl seized from another Roma couple in Greece, the Bulgarian Interior Ministry said Friday.

The DNA tests confirm that Sashka Ruseva and Atanas Rusev are the biological parents of the girl known as “Maria,” according to the Interior Ministry.  Sashka Ruseva came forward Thursday to say that she is the girl’s mother and that she left her in the care of a couple she had worked for in Bulgaria in 2009.

“We gave her, we gifted her, without money,” she told Bulgaria’s TV7 on Thursday. “I didn’t take any money. I didn’t have any food to give to the kid. I saw it yesterday and I’ve been sick. I haven’t eaten since last night.”

What will happen to the girl now is unclear. She is in the care of the Greek children’s charity Smile of the Child, said the group’s spokesman, Panagiotis Pardalis.

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