Bulgaria questions 'parents' of Greece mystery girl

Bulgarian police interview Roma couple over mystery girl discovered living in Greek camp

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 October, 2013, 4:27am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 October, 2013, 4:27am

Bulgarian police are questioning a Roma couple who might be the biological parents of Maria, a mysterious blond girl found in a Greek Roma camp, media reported yesterday.

According to the reports, the couple, named as Sasha Ruseva and Atanas Rusev, have between eight and 10 children, five of whom are blond and even closely resemble the girl found last week.

One of the children, Jesus, was cited by the BGNES news agency as saying that the family had been in Greece and had left Maria there when they returned to Bulgaria.

The mother had also reportedly told one of their neighbours that she had sold the child for 500 leva (HK$2,700), and that she had recognised Maria when her discovery made global headlines this week.

Public BNT television and BNR radio said the couple came from the central Bulgarian town of Nikolaevo.

The interior ministry has refused to comment.

Earlier yesterday, Greek news portal said Sasha Ruseva gave birth to a girl thought to be Maria in January 31, 2009, in the central town of Lamia.

However, dental checks on Maria indicate an age of five or six, according to the Athens-based charity entrusted with her care.

Lamia mayor George Kotronias told the portal that Ruseva unsuccessfully tried to register her daughter by falsely claiming she was unmarried, and that her application had been rejected.

Another report in top-selling daily newspaper Ta Nea said the girl's biological mother is currently living on the island of Evia east of Athens.

Police in Greece declined to comment on the investigation. "We have nothing to say at the moment, there is no information to give," a police spokesman in Athens said.

Greek police have sought global help via Interpol to help identify the blond girl whose discovery in a Roma camp near Farsala has sparked worldwide concern and interest in other child disappearance cases.

The Greek Roma couple, a 39-year-old man and his 40-year-old wife who were detained for allegedly abducting her, had denied the charges, saying that she was voluntarily handed over by her Bulgarian Roma mother who could not care for her.