Roma camp want 'Maria' back

The family at the Roma camp in Greece where a mystery blonde girl, known as Maria, was found have told ITV News they want her back. A couple have been charged with abduction and procuring false documents.

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Greek police search for parents of mystery Roma child

An international search is under way for the parents of a young girl after Greek police seized her from the the home of a Roma couple.

Detectives say DNA tests prove the girl is not their daughter, as the couple were claiming. They fear the child may have been abducted or trafficked.

The parents of Madeleine McCann have said it gives them hope that one day she may also be found alive.

ITV News Correspondent Nina Nannar reports:

Needham sister wants her DNA tested against Maria's

The sister of a child who went missing in Greece more than 20 years ago says she wants her own DNA to be tested against that of a little girl found in a Roma camp in the country in case the girl is related to her missing brother.

Sheffield boy Ben Needham was just 21 months old when he went missing on Greek holiday island Kos in 1991.

His sister Leighanna Needham, 20, never met Ben but said the discovery of the girl - called Maria - in the camp was welcome news for her family's fight for answers.

"I think that would be a brilliant thing to get our DNA out there, even if it's not actually Ben but any siblings or any children maybe of Ben [that are found] then that could hopefully lead us to him," she told Sky News.


  1. Calendar

"Abducted" girl found in Greece gives Needham family new hope

Greek police who raided the camp of a Roma Gypsy community have discovered a four-year-old girl they fear may have been trafficked or abducted by the family she was found with.

The girl, going by the name of 'Maria', looked nothing like the couple she was living with, officials said.

"Maria", who is now being looked after by the charity A Child's Smile

DNA tests have since proved she was not their biological child.

Now, the family of Ben Needham, who went missing on the Greek island of Kos in 1991, says the discovery has given them new hope.

The gypsy camp, in Larissa, central Greece, was investigated by police. A prisoner in the town told police Ben was being held there.

Speaking exclusively to Calendar, his mother Kerry said today: "My family and I are extremely delighted by the news of the 4-year-old girl who has been found in a gypsy Camp in Larissa.

"We have always believed that Ben's abduction was gypsy-related, and have had a long ongoing inquiry in Larrisa. We hope that the investigation into Ben's disappearance will now be looked at again in Larrisa with the British and Greek police."

Greece mystery girl 'shocked and confused'

A four-year-old girl found living on a Roma settlement with a family who was not related to her has been taken to a hospital for a medical check and will then be transferred to a home of the child welfare charity organisation Smile of the Child.

The president of the organisation, Costas Yannopoulos, said the girl was in a state of shock and confusion.

Girl could have been 'kidnapped to sell for good price'

The president of a children's organisation has said that a four-year-old girl found in a Roma camp in Greece could have been kidnapped.

A four-year-old girl, found living with a Roma couple in central Greece, is seen in a handout photo Credit: REUTERS/Greek Police/Handout

Kostas Yannopoulos told journalists: "It shows that it could be kidnapping and combined effort of these people to buy and sell children, and when you have a good commodity like this one, they try to find a better price...because she was blonde, she was cute".

Greek police are investigating the identity of the girl on suspicion that the child may have been abducted from her parents. Credit: REUTERS/Greek Police/Handout
The girl was found on Wednesday at a Roma settlement near Farsala in central Greece during a police sweep Credit: REUTERS/Greek Police/Handout

Report: Mystery blonde girl give McCanns 'great hope'

The parents of Madeleine McCann were given "great hope" after a mystery blonde girl reportedly snatched from her family was found living with gypsies, according to the Daily Mirror.

Greek authorities launched an international appeal to help identify the four-year-old blonde girl.

DNA tests confirmed the mystery four-year-old is not related to the couple housing her. Credit: The Smile of the Child

The child was found on Wednesday near Farsala in central Greece during a nationwide crackdown on illegal activities by Roma, also known as Gypsies.

Speaking to The Mirror, a spokesman for the McCanns said: “This gives Kate and Gerry great hope that Madeleine could be found alive.”

Read: Search under way for parents of mystery four year-old girl


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