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UPD Family drama: Two toddlers abandoned outside church in Thessaloniki

A boy and a little girl were found abandoned outside the church of St. Panteleimon in Kalamaria, Thessaloniki on Tuesday afternoon. Residents who saw the toddlers roaming around alone for a couple of hours, called the police.

The toddlers, a 3.5-year-old boy and a girl between 1.5 to 2 years old, were taken to the Security Department of Kalamaria and from there to the hospital to  to be examined by pediatricians.

The local prosecutor was informed in order to initiate the procedure provided by law.

According to daily Efimerida Ton Syntakton, it was revealed that the children’s parents are serving prison sentences related to drugs. The father is prisoner in the prison of Diavata, the mother in the prison of Thiva.

The mother’s sister had taken the children’s custody.

A little later, the 25-year-old aunt of the toddlers was identified and arrested. The prosecutor raised charged against the woman for having exposed the lives of minors to risk.

The aunt reportedly told the police, that she was poor and did not have any income to raise the children. “I thought to leave them at the church to take care of them…” she told police.

The aunt and the children’s parents are Serbian nationals.

For the time being, the children are in children’s hospital in Thessaloniki until the prosecutor decides where they will be hosted.

Speaking to ANT1 TV on Wednesday morning, the priest of Agios Panteleimonas described what happened, when the liturgy concluded on Tuesday and the people saw the children outside the church.

The children were confused and were crying, the priest said and stressed that they calmed down when the people approached them and started to talk to them. The people searched around for some parent or any other adult member of the family.

The little girl was in a baby buggy and held her milk bottle. The little boy was walking around holding a cheese pie.  The boy was asking for his mother, his granny and his aunt, the priest said.

When the people realized that the children were alone, they called the police.

UPDATE:  The aunt was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment on 3-year parole. She told the court that she was planning to send the children to grandparents in Serbia. However, the two had no legal papers. The boy was registered with a fake name, the girl was not registered at all, she claimed.

The kids were transferred form the hospital to a Greek children NGO.

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