Has Maria's mother been found? Bulgarian couple have DNA tests

Woman admitted on Bulgarian television she gave up a child in Greece four years ago

The biological family of a child found living in a Roma settlement could be living in Bulgaria, after a woman admitted to giving up a baby girl in Greece four years ago.

The discovery of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl living with a Roma family in Greece last week sparked an international investigation after DNA tests proved the girl was not biologically related to a couple who initially claimed to be her parents.

Police have traced leads to a Bulgarian woman, who says she gave birth 'several years ago' at a hospital which, reports suggest, is only an hour south of the settlement where the child was discovered last week.

The woman, named by local media organisations as Sasha Ruseva, 38, is now speaking with police. The Bulgarian interior ministry has confirmed that DNA samples have been taken.

Ms Ruseva reportedly has eight children, some of whom appear to resemble Maria.

Speaking to Bulgarian TV, Ruseva said that she gave birth to a girl while working in Greece but that she had to leave the child because she didn't have enough money to take her home.

"I intended to go back and take my child home, but meanwhile I gave birth to two more kids so I was not able to go back," Ruseva said, insisting that she did not get paid for giving up the girl.

Maria (left) and Sasha and Atanas Ruseva's son Maria (left) and Sasha and Atanas Ruseva's son

However, she denied reports that she had received any form of payment.

Christos Salis and Eletheria Dimopoulou, aged 39 and 40, have been arrested and charged with abduction and document fraud. They claim they received the child from a destitute Bulgarian woman and raised her with her own five children.

The mayor of Nikolaevo confirmed that Ms Ruseva and her husband Atanas had gone to the authorities to find out if the girl is their daughter.

Greek news site zougla.gr published Ms Ruseva's identity card and what it claims is a birth certificate for Maria. Hospital records show she gave birth to a child on 31 January 2009, the birthday given by the couple accused of abducting Maria. Two of Sasha and Atanas Ruseva's children, both of whom are reportedly albino, pose for photographers in the town of Nikolaevo, Bulgaria Two of Sasha and Atanas Ruseva's children

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk