25 Oct 2013

Bulgarian Roma couple are parents of mystery child

DNA tests prove that a Bulgarian Roma couple are the parents of the mystery four-year-old blonde girl found in a Greek Roma camp. Mother Sasha Ruseva says she could not afford to keep the child.

DNA tests have proved that a Bulgarian Roma couple are the parents of a blonde girl found in a Roma camp in Athens last week, solving a global media mystery.

Sasha Ruseva, 38, told Bulgarian authorities she gave birth to Maria in Greece in 2009 while picking olives, but had to leave her child in Greece because she had to go back to Bulgaria and could not afford to look after her. DNA test results today proved she is the mother of the child and that her partner Atanas Rusev is the father.

Ms Ruseva identified her daughter from the TV after she recognised the couple she had left the baby with, a police statement from Bulgaria says.

The identity of the four-year-old blonde girl has been a matter of much media speculation, after it was proved that the Roma couple she was living with in an encampment in Athens were not her biological relatives.

Maria has been confiscated from her adopted Roma parents, and now authorities in Greece and Bulgaria are weighing up what is best to do with the child.

“After an investigation we will decide what will be best for the child, whether to take her from the family, to offer social service, or so on” added social services department chief Lidia Hristova.,

Bulgarian authorities have suggested that Maria should be put in a Bulgarian care home.

Bulgarian prosecutors are investigating whether the mother, Sasha Ruseva, 35, agreed to sell her child in Greece. Ruseva denies this, saying she left a seven-month-old baby with the Greek couple.

If money was involved, then the mother faces up to six years in jail and a fine of up to 15,000 levs (10,600 USD).

The Rusevas live in the poor Roma camp in Nikolaevo with their 10 children and another relative, in extreme poverty, in a shabby two-room house.

Maria’s siblings live with their parents in Bulgaria.