Greek police seek global help on mystery girl found in Roma camp

Greek police seek global help on mystery girl found in Roma camp

ATHENS - Greek authorities have sought help from Interpol to identify a young blonde girl whose discovery in a Roma camp has sparked worldwide concern and interest in other child disappearance cases.

The cross-border police agency said it has sent out the girl's photo and DNA profile to all of its 190 member countries.

"Until now, a comparison of the girl's profile against Interpol's global DNA database has not produced a match," the organisation based in the French city of Lyon said in a statement last Tuesday.

At the same, investigators are seeking clues in other missing child cases around the globe.

"There are nearly a dozen disappearance cases from countries such as the US, Sweden, Poland and France that are being more closely investigated," Panagiotis Pardalis, a spokesman for the Smile of the Child charity that has been assigned care of the girl, told AFP.

In Washington, deputy US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said: "At this time, we have no information to indicate that the child (in Greece) is a US citizen."

The girl, known as Maria and dubbed the 'blonde angel', was found by police last week in a Roma camp near the town of Farsala in central Greece.

Initially thought to be four years old, but later confirmed from dental checks to be five or six, she was kept by a Roma couple who were placed in pre-trial detention on Monday for allegedly abducting her.

The couple, a 39-year-old man and his 40-year-old wife, deny the charge and claim that she was voluntarily handed over by her Bulgarian Roma mother who could not care for her.

The Greek Supreme Court has ordered that birth certificates delivered over the past six years be reviewed.

Prosecutors across the country are expected to look into certificates that could conceal "possible cases of human trafficking, abductions and illegal adoptions", the court said.

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