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October 22, 2014

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Maria’s Parents Found: DNA Proves Bulgarian Roma Couple Are Biological Parents Of Girl Found In Greece

Maria’s Parents Found: DNA Proves Bulgarian Roma Couple Are Biological Parents Of Girl Found In Greece

10/26/2013

Maria, the four-year-old fair-haired and fair skinned girl found in Greece, has been identified as the daughter of Bulgarian Roma couple Antanas Rusev and Sasha Ruseva via DNA testing.

“Analysis proved that Sasha Ruseva is the biological mother of the girl named Maria,” Bulgarian Interior Ministry Chief Commissioner, Svetlozar Lazarov told reporters, according to NBC News. “It also showed Atanas Rusev as the biological father.

Maria currently remains in Greece, where she is being cared for at Smile of a Child Charity. Since she was discovered earlier in the month, her health has improved, gaining her leave from the hospital and placement in one of the charities homes, according to spokesperson Panagiotis Pardalis.

A Greek court will ultimately decide where Maria goes to next. There’s speculation that Atanas and Sasha may have sold their daughter to a couple in return for a cash payment. Sasha claims that though they left Maria in Greece because they are impoverished, they never received money for her. Pretrial proceedings have already been initiated to determine the truth.

Antanas and Sasha have a total of nine children, two of whom were born after Maria. After being invstigated by police, the two parents fled, according to police. Zineb Kasimova, the child’s grandmother, has said that she would care for her should she be returned to Bulgaira. Kasimova has over 50 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Maria was found in a Roma settlement near Farsala, Greeece with Christos Salis, 39, and Eleftheria Dimopoulou, 40. When DNA testing proved that they were not Maria’s parents and that they had no adoption papers, an investigation was launched to determine who Maria’s biological parents were.

– Chelsea Regan

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Read more: Greece, Missing Children, Roma, Courts

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