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Other Roma couple are girl’s parents

NIKOLAEVO, Bulgaria — The mystery is solved, but the future of the young girl known only as Maria is still uncertain.

DNA tests have confirmed that a Bulgarian Roma couple living in an impoverished village with their nine other children are the biological parents of the girl found in Greece with another Roma couple, authorities said Friday.

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Genetic profiles of Sasha Ruseva, 35, and her 37-year-old husband, Atanas, matched that of Maria, Bulgarian Interior Ministry official Svetlozar Lazarov said Friday. By late Friday, the couple had not returned to their home that was surrounded by reporters after the news was announced.

Ruseva had said she gave birth to a baby girl four years ago in Greece while working there as an olive picker but gave the child away because she was too poor to care for her. She has had two more children after Maria.

Maria has been in a charity’s care since authorities raided a settlement of Roma, also known as Gypsies, in Greece last week and found she was not related to the Greek Roma couple she was living with.

Her discovery triggered a global search for her parents.

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