DNA confirms Maria's mother is Bulgarian Roma woman
Tests confirm that 35-year-old Roma woman is biological mother of 'Blonde Angel'
DNA tests have confirmed that the mother of a blonde girl removed from a Roma couple in Greece is a 35-year-old Roma woman from Bulgaria.
Bulgaria's interior ministry announced the results today after comparing DNA taken from Sasha Ruseva, a Bulgarian mother-of-eight, with that obtained from the green-eyed four-year-old girl found at a Roma camp in Greece. Ruseva has said she gave birth to a baby girl four years ago in Greece while working as an olive picker, and gave the child away because she was too poor to care for her.
Hospital records show that Ruseva gave birth to a baby girl on 31 January 2009 in a hospital in Lamia, an hour south of the Farsala settlement where Maria was found.
The birth date matches the birthday of Maria given by Salis and Dimopoulou, reports Greek news site Zougla.
Christos Salis and Eleftheria Dimopoulou, the Greek couple who were raising Maria, have always insisted she was given to them as a baby by an impoverished Bulgarian woman who said she could not care for her. The couple have been charged with abduction and falsifying documents - charges they deny - and are being held in jail. Maria is being looked after by a children's charity in Athens.
An appeal by police for people to come forward with any information that might help identify Maria has eliciited 8,000 responses.
Several days after Maria was removed from the Roma couple in Greece, police removed two blonde children from Roma couples in Ireland. Both of the Iriish children were subsequently returned to their parents following DNA tests.
Ireland's justice minister has called for a report into the children's removal ·