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'Maria': Greece's mystery girl

Updated 12:01 PM ET, Thu October 31, 2013
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This young girl, reportedly named Maria, was taken in by authorities Thursday, October 17, after she was found in a Roma community near Farsala, Greece. A Roma couple was initially charged with abducting her and falsifying official documents, and the case has generated huge interest in Greece. Hellenic Police/Getty Images
DNA tests have shown that Sasha Ruseva -- who according to neighbors in her Bulgarian Roma village lives in a single-room home with up to nine other children -- is Maria's biological mother. "We gave her away. I didn't take any money. I didn't have any food to give to her. Since I saw her on the TV, I've been sick," Ruseva told in Bulgaria's TV7. ZOUGLA/SIPA
Living conditions in the Roma village of Nikolaevo, where Saska Ruseva and Atanas Rusev live, are rudimentary. Horse-drawn carts are still used for transportation of people and goods.
Maria's 14-year-old sister, Minka, holds a faded newspaper photograph of her little sister on Saturday, October 26 in Nikolaevo. The two have never met. Karl Penhaul/CNN
In this handout photo provided by police, suspects Eleftheria Dimopoulou, 40, and Christos Salis, 39, sit with the girl. A lawyer for the couple told the Reuters news agency that the couple adopted the girl with the permission of her biological mother. Hellenic Police/Getty Images
The couple's lawyer conceded that the adoption was "nonlegal," but he said he believed the girl's biological mother would verify the couple's claims. Hellenic Police/Getty Images
Authorities asked questions about the girl because she has fair skin and blond hair while her parents have darker complexions typical of Roma. The Romany people, historically called Gypsies, are a race descended from Indian nomads. They face widespread discrimination in Europe. Hellenic Police/Getty Images
Roma children play next to a Roma settlement in Farsala, Greece, on Saturday, October 19. Haralambos Dimitriou, head of the local Roma community, said Dimopoulou and Salis raised Maria like a "normal" child. SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images
A Roma woman walks next to the house where the family lived in Farsala. A spokesman for Smile of the Child, the charity that took Maria in, said the girl was found in "bad living conditions, poor hygiene." SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images
Medical tests indicate the girl is 5 to 6 years of age, slightly older than initially thought, said Smile of the Child spokesman Panagiotis Pardalis. Hellenic Police/Getty Images
Thousands of calls poured into Greece after authorities released photos of the girl. Authorities released photos of the two adults hoping that someone can provide more information about them. Hellenic Police/Getty Images