Police in Greece raided a gypsy camp near Farsala in central Greece on Wednesday in a sweep search for weapons and drugs. During the sweep, authorities discovered a blond-haired, blue-eyed 4-year-old girl going by the name of Maria who looked dangerously out of place in that community of Roma.
On Oct. 18, according to a report from CBS News, Greek officials, concerned that the child looked nothing like the couple claiming to be her parents, said that DNA tests proved that the little girl wasn’t the couple’s biological child.
Raising even more concerns of possible child trafficking, the woman claiming to be Maria’s mother said that she had “given birth to six children in a total of less than 10 months, while 10 of the 14 children the couple registered as their own are unaccounted for.”
Authorities in Greece are now trying to find out exactly who the little girl is and where she came from.
"Her features suggest that she might be from an eastern or northern (European) country," regional police chief Panayiotis Tziovaras said of the girl.
The couple claiming to be the mystery child’s parents were arrested by the Greek police and charged with abducting a minor.
The fraudulent father, 39, and the bogus mother, 40, have differing stories as to how they came to have Maria in their possession, like, “the girl was found in a blanket, that she was handed to them by strangers or that she had a foreign father.”
During that same sweep, police also discovered two other young girls and one boy also in the possession of the couple originally claiming to be Maria’s parents.
Police in Greece issued a release stating the couple “illicitly registered different numbers of children with authorities in three different parts of Greece.”
In addition to being charged with abducting a minor, the couple is also being charged with falsifying identity documents.
CNN reported that the Greek government is providing psychological counseling support for Maria.
Anyone with information as to Maria’s true identity is asked to call the European Hotline for Missing Children, or contact “The Smile of the Child” at +30 210 76 09 550 - or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To receive e-mail alerts to Richard's Domestic Crimes articles, Subscribe Here to Get Instant Updates.
E-mail alerts are free, private and secure, and you won't get any ink on your fingers.