Bulgarian police find suspected mother in Greek 'Maria' case
Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 01:31
Oct. 24 - Bulgarian police question Roma couple who say they might be real parents of 'Maria', the four-year-old blonde girl found in Greece last week. Mana Rabiee reports.
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In this Roma camp in southern Bulgaria, a couple says they might be the real parents of a four-year-old girl found in Greece last week.
Now, Bulgarian police are questioning Atanas and Sashka Ruseva about the girl, whom police call Maria.
The woman thinks she gave birth to her in Greece in 2009 but says she had to leave the infant behind because the family was poor.
(SOUNDBITE) (Bulgarian) SASHA RUSEVA SAYING:
"We don't know whether it is our child. We have given out some children for free, we have taken no money, we never took any money, we just couldn't feed the child."
Maria was found with this couple in Greece, during a police sweep of their Roma camp.
DNA tests showed they weren't blood relatives and they're now in custody for abduction.
Maria's discovery sparked a global search for her real parents.
Sashka Ruseva reportedly recognized her after seeing TV reports.
Her relative insists she did nothing wrong.
(SOUNDBITE) (Bulgarian) RELATIVE, ANGEL ANGELOV, SAYING:
"Some people say Sasha sold her child. She did not sell her child, because if she had done so, she would been have been living in a bigger house than this and in better conditions."
Stanka Ruseva is one of Sashka's ten children, five of whom closely resemble Maria.
(SOUNDBITE) (Bulgarian) STANKA RUSEVA, POSSIBLE SISTER OF MARIA, GIRL FOUND IN GREEK ROMA CAMP, SAYING:
"I would like Maria to come here. She is my sister."
Prosecutors say DNA tests will determine if Sashka is indeed Maria's biological mother.
But if she's found guilty of selling her child, this impoverished Roma mother could face up to six years in jail.
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