FBI Investigating Unidentified Girl Found In Greece; Possible Link To Missing Baby Lisa
After an unidentified four-year-old girl, called Maria, was found during a police raid in Greece and appeared to have been abducted, families from around the world are reaching out to Greek authorities in the hopes that Maria is their missing child.
Maria was found last week in a Roma community in Greece and was separated from a couple claiming to be her parents when investigators noticed a striking difference in physical features. Maria is blond, blue-eyed and fair-skinned, while the adults with her have dark brown complexions and brown hair and eyes. The couple, Eleftheria Dimopoulou, 40, and Christos Salis, 39, were arrested and charged with child abduction and falsifying identity papers. They claim they took Maria in after informally adopting her form her Bulgarian mother. Both have conflicting identity papers and birth records, with Dimopoulou claiming she gave birth to six of the couple’s 14 children in the past ten months. It remains unclear whether the couple was involved in a child trafficking ring or whether they are only guilty of welfare fraud.
There have been four American inquiries made about Maria, according to ABC News, one of which comes from the Irwin family, Debbie Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, whose one-year-old daughter, Lisa, disappeared from their Kansas City, Mo., home in October of 2011.
Recent tests on the mystery girl, now called Maria, have determined her age to be between five and six, which makes her too old to be baby Lisa, who would be three at this time. However, considering how little is known about Maria, every possibility will be exhausted, reports KCTV.
The Irwin family has reached out to the FBI in an effort to determine Maria’s identity, and they are not the only ones. According to reports, Greek authorities are looking into eight international leads, four of which are American – the other missing children cases are from Canada, Sweden, France and Poland.
Maria is currently being cared for at the Smile of a Child charity in Greece while authorities search for her biological family. If biological parents are not found in about six months, a formal adoption process for Maria can begin, according to ABC News.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong
More on Maria: