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UPDATES Maria, the little blond girl from Roma camp: the mystery continues…

“Maria is 4 years old. Her mother, a Bulgarian woman, gave the girl as newborn, because she could not afford to raise her. The deal was sealed outside a supermarket through a third person.” This is what the Roma couple claims about the little blond girl with angel eyes that was found in a settlement in Farsala, in Central Greece. The same claim came from the lawyer of the Roma couple and their relatives as well.

The case that that has drawn worldwide interest remains still unsolved although police hints it has most likely to do with international child trafficking ring, while authorities do not exclude the options of kidnapping and illegal adoptions.

Maria’s ID

Six days after police took away the girl from the Roma settlement, the mystery about the identity and the age of Maria continues.

Maria was found with a Roma Gypsy family

Maria last week – Maria at the age of 2(?) from a video given to media by the couple’s relatives

There are still anthropometric tests to be done to determine first of all the age of the girl that seems to be older than 4, as the fake parents claimed, and probably her origin. It is believed that Maria may be 5 years old.

“Adopted” in a very young age, Maria has probably nothing to report about her earlier.

She speaks only Roma and only some Greek words.

Greek police gave the age of Maria as being ‘four years old’ according to what her ‘parents’ claimed. The exact age determination (plus-minus 30 days) will help to exclude several thousands cases of missing children worldwide.

Media reported that some 5,000 files of missing children in Europe and North America (USA and Canada) but also in South Africa have been reopened.

8,000 phone calls to Greek NGO

More than eight thousands phones calls by desperate parents who have lost their children have reached the To Hamogelo toy Paidioy (the Smile of the Child), the Greek NGO that deals with missing children and is currently taking care of Maria. Phone calls and e-mails have come mostly from Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Finland and Denmark, but also the Netherlands and Poland, private ANT1 TV reported on Sunday.

The news that a blond girl was found in a Roma camp in Farsala spread like a wildfire, made media headlines worldwide and gave hope to parents of missing children.

The parents of the parents of Madeleine McCann, the British toddler who went missing in Portugal in 2007, said the case was a sign that children who had disappeared could still be found.

“A lot of emails have come through from families whose own children went missing years ago. Based on pictures that we have also received, there are around 10 cases of children who bear a resemblance to the little girl and we are following them up to see if there is any link.” Panagiotis Partalis via Guardian

“Fake” children, birth registrations & baby trafficking

The Roma couple will appear before the prosecutor in the early afternoon to face charges of “child abduction”. The man, 39, and the woman, 40, had registered a total of 14 children and was receiving child benefits of more than 1,000 euro per month. The majority of the other ‘children’ of the couple could not be identified. There is suspicion that these other children do not exist but there were just registered to several municipalities for the shake of benefits.

Claim: A member of the Roma settlement in Farsala told private Skai TV on Monday morning that “a Bulgarian woman who was working in the area had given the child to the Roma couple through the mediation of a Bulgarian man and that the couple received the child in 2009.”

There were also claims that the woman was still in the area and works in the fields, but she has not seek the police so far.

Greek media speak of possibilities child/baby trafficking ring and illegal adoptions in Greece. There is the option that Maria was left behind to the Roma couple when an illegal adoption failed.

In 2009, Greek police smashed an illegal ring that had brought 17 pregnant Bulgarian women to Greece to give birth to their children. The children were sold for 25,000 euro.

In 2011, we reported about police cracking a baby trafficking ring with Bulgarian women.

Greek media speak of Balkan-wide trafficking rings between Bulgaria, Albania and Greece.

But the case has also revealed the insufficient law in child birth registrations when the children were not born in hospitals. One parent and two witnesses are necessary to register a child’s birth.

Shocked by the 14 registered ‘children ‘of the Roma couple, the Greek Interior Ministry proceeded to an urgent change of the birth registration law: parents will have to submit also a DNA test if their child was not born in a hospital or clinic.

The deputy interior minister told private Skai TV on Monday that the state will cover the cost of the DNA test if the parents were unemployed and had no financial means.

It is not clear yet about the law provisions on children adopted from abroad, a sometimes semi-illegal practice as the adoption law in Greece often puts insuperable obstacles to wanna-be-parents.

Greek police is expected to give the pictures of Maria’s fake parents to the public in to order to encourage witnesses to give hints about the case.

While the Roma community claimed that Maria was well looked after, locals claimed that they had seen her begging on the streets of the towns of the area like Lamia, while some other claimed they had seen her begging on the island of Crete.

Fact is that nobody ever took care of all begging children on the streets, neither of those children laying possibly sedated in the arms of their beggars’ “mothers”. Whether those children were dark-skinned or not. Maybe the case of Maria will change things in terms of child protection.

For hints or requests, please, contact directly the Smile of the Child (Hamogelo toy Paidioy) per email: [email protected] or per phone: <11600>. Website: www.hamogelo.gr

Missing girl Maria

see also: skynews and others, just google “missing girl Maria”

 

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6 comments

  1. Is it in any way possible that this girl is Madelin Mcan? I mean what with plastic surgery and what not any thing is possible these days.

  2. What about the dark-skinned girl found living in “dangerously sterile” conditions with a blond couple in Sweden? Why don’t we give her attention, too? Here’s the article in The Dandy Goat : dandygoat.com/olive-skinned-girl-found-living-with-blond-couple-in-sweden