DNA tests have proved a Bulgarian couple are the biological parents of a four-year-old girl found in Greece.
Police launched an international appeal to identify the youngster – named Maria – after a raid on a Roma camp in the centre of the country.
The couple she was found with were charged with abducting her. Salis Christos and Sali Selini then told Greek magistrates she had been given to them by her mother and a Bulgarian Roma, when she was still a baby.
Now, adding credence to that evidence, a DNA test has proved Bulgarian Roma Sasha Ruseva, 35, is the girl’s mother.
Bulgarian prosecutors are investigating whether the mother agreed to sell her child in Greece, an accusation she denies.
The case has come to illustrate the plight of Roma gypsies in Bulgaria, many of whom have spent their lives in poverty, are illiterate and have been marginalised by society.
The four-year-old, dubbed the “blonde angel” by Greek media, was found last week hiding under a blanket at a Roma settlement in central Greece. DNA tests showed the Roma couple she was with were not her real parents.
Maria, whose case has drawn parallels with the disappearance of 3-year-old Briton Madeleine McCann in 2007, is being looked after by a Greek charity, which says it has received over 10,000 calls with leads or from parents of missing children.