Mystery girl in Greek Roma camp abandoned by mother: Lawyers

A young girl found in Greece in the company of a Roma couple who are not her biological parents was given up by her mother because she could not raise her, the couple`s lawyers said today.

AFP| Last Updated: Oct 20, 2013, 08:39 AM IST

Athens: A young girl found in Greece in the company of a Roma couple who are not her biological parents was given up by her mother because she could not raise her, the couple`s lawyers said today.

The discovery of the girl, dubbed the "blonde angel" in the Greek press, on Wednesday gave hope to the parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann that they will find her alive, their spokesman said earlier.

Speaking about the girl`s biological mother, a lawyer for the Roma couple, Marietta Palavra, said: "We`re talking about a woman who could not raise this child and who gave it to the couple in 2009 through a third party shortly after her birth."

"There has been no kidnapping, no robbery, no trafficking," added her colleague Konstantinos Katsavos, who also represents the 40-year-old woman and her husband, 39.

"They did not buy the child."

Greek police believe the girl they found at the Roma couple`s home in a camp in the central town of Farsala was abducted at birth.

With fair hair and green eyes, she does not resemble the couple and DNA testing has shown they are not related.

The Roma couple has been arrested.

Police are looking to question the biological mother, who does not have Greek citizenship according to the couple`s lawyers, to confirm the story.

Lawyers hope that relatives of the girl will be found before the couple is questioned by a judge in the central city of Larissa on Monday morning and possibly charged for "abducting a minor".

Police said the couple had repeatedly changed their version of how the girl, who was undergoing medical exams at a hospital today, came to live with them.

But their lawyer Katsavos said they had "not made an official deposition so far".

The girl, said to be about four years old, is expected to stay with The Smile of a Child charity after her discharge from hospital, Kostas Giannopoulos who heads the organisation said.

"The girl is more at peace" than when police took her away from the camp, he said. "For the first time she is with people who care for her."
Kate and Gerry McCann have been searching for their daughter since May 2007, when she vanished from their holiday apartment in Portugal`s Praia da Luz resort while the couple were at dinner.
Madeleine was three years old at the time.