Maria: Bulgarian Couple Are Roma Girl's Parents

DNA tests have confirmed that a Bulgarian couple are the biological parents of a mystery girl found in a Greek Roma camp.

Samples showed that Sasha Ruseva and Atanas Rusev were the biological parents of Maria, the blonde child who made global headlines after being spotted in Athens.

Ms Ruseva has said she gave birth to a baby girl four years ago in Greece while working as an olive picker.

She said she gave the child away because she was too poor to care for her but insisted she did not get paid.

However, she has also reportedly told one of her neighbours that she sold the child for the equivalent of around £213.

She recognised Maria when her discovery was reported in the media, she said.

According to reports Mrs Ruseva, who is married and lives in the central Bulgarian town of Nikolaevo, has as many as 10 children.

Five of those children are blonde, and even closely resemble the girl found at the camp last week.

Maria's case came to light when Greek police noticed the lack of resemblance between the blonde girl and the adults she was staying with in Athens.

Today's confirmation comes after police arrested a childless couple in Greece on suspicion of buying a baby girl and trying to register her as their own.

The couple were arrested in Athens after they allegedly paid a Roma woman 4,000 euros (£3,400) for the baby, a Greek police statement said.

Authorities are looking for the baby's birth parents.

The suspects, aged 53 and 48, were expected to be charged with child abduction.

Under Greek law this includes cases where a minor is voluntarily given away by its parents outside the legal adoption process.

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