28/10/2013 09:54 GMT | Updated 28/12/2013 10:12 GMT

Maria's Bulgarian Roma Family Want Her Back (VIDEO)

The Bulgarian Roma family, wrongly thought to have abducted the mystery child Maria when she was found in Greece last week, are calling for her to be returned.

The Greek Roma couple are now demanding the young girl be given back to them, but fear social services will keep her.


"Give us Maria! We will take her home and share our bread with her," her eldest sister Katia Ruseva said Saturday in the central Bulgarian town of Gurkovo, where she lives with her husband and two children.

"We will not give her away for anything in the world," the 20-year-old said.

After she was found living with a Roma couple in a camp in Greece on October 16, Maria's blonde hair and green eyes were beamed on TV screens worldwide, making her a poster child for dozens of Western parents with missing children.

maria gypsy family

A police officer had spotted the lack of resemblance to the girl's parents

But on Friday DNA testing confirmed the parents of the little blonde girl to be a Roma couple living in dire poverty in central Bulgaria.


The woman has admitted giving up a baby in Greece

The couple, Eleftheria Dimopoulou and Christos Sali, said the girl was given to them. They have been charged with abducting a minor and detained in jail pending trial.

Maria's mother has even admitted she gave the child away because she was too poor to care for her.

"We gave her, we gifted her, without money," Sashka Ruseva told Bulgaria's TV7 Thursday. "I didn't take any money. I didn't have any food to give to the kid."

A lawyer for the Greek Roma couple said yesterday a legal team would fight to get Maria back to the couple.