Cops Seek Parents of Blonde Girl Found in Gypsy Camp

Couple now facing kidnapping charges

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 20, 2013 2:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – Greek police are looking into the identity of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, little girl they spotted living with a Roma couple at a settlement in central Greece. The cops believe the girl may have been kidnapped—DNA tests show she is not related to the couple, and authorities say the pair offered a number of conflicting statements on how she came to live with them, reports the Guardian. One was that she was found in a blanket, another that she had a Canadian father, and yet another that she was given to them by strangers. "Her features suggest that she might be from an eastern or northern (European) country," says a local police chief, per the AP. The couple's lawyer says she was adopted from a local charity, where she had been left by a foreigner.

"Just because (the suspect) had forged documents, it doesn't make her a kidnapper," says the lawyer. "The couple loved the girl as if she were their own." The couple will appear in court tomorrow on charges of kidnapping. The girl, known as Maria, is now being looked after by a children's charity. The charity says it has received more than 5,000 calls since Friday, with people either wondering if she's their own missing child, or offering tips, Reuters reports. In related news, a 15-year-old Roma girl who was deported from France to her father's native Kosovo last month has been told she can return. The deportation sparked protests after the girl was taken off a school bus by police in the middle of a field trip. After students rallied for two days, President Francois Hollande announced Leonarda Dibrani could come back to France to study—but her parents and five siblings will not be allowed to join her, reports RT News.

A photo released by Greek Police showing the four-year-old girl at an unknown location.
A photo released by Greek Police showing the four-year-old girl at an unknown location.   (AP Photo/Greek Police)
In this undated photo released by charity ''The Smile of the Child'' shows the girl at an unknown location.
In this undated photo released by charity ''The Smile of the Child'' shows the girl at an unknown location.   (AP Photo/The Smile of the Child)
Leonarda Dibrani, 15, was expelled from France, but will now be allowed to return.
Leonarda Dibrani, 15, was expelled from France, but will now be allowed to return.   (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
Protesting students of Paris high schools hold a banner reading Education Must Be Without Borders after a Roma girl was taken off a school bus by French police an deported.
Protesting students of Paris high schools hold a banner reading "Education Must Be Without Borders" after a Roma girl was taken off a school bus by French police an deported.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
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