THE WORLDPOST
10/23/2013 11:24 am ET Updated Oct 23, 2013

Greek 'Gypsy' Girl Has No DNA Match In Interpol Database

Despite enlisting the help of Interpol to identify the blonde girl found in a Roma camp last week, Greek authorities remain no closer to finding out who the child is, officials say.

The international police agency released a statement Tuesday saying it could not find a DNA match for 'Maria' in its global database. Interpol is now encouraging its member countries to compare the child's DNA against their own national databases, while Greek authorities are probing whether the girl may have been abducted or a victim of child trafficking.

Discovered by Greek police at a Roma camp in central Greece on Oct. 16, the child remains in the care of The Smile of the Child charity at an undisclosed hospital, ABC News notes. A dental examination suggests she is between 5 and 6 years old.

"The kid is happy, plays with her dolls but doesn't seem to like the food that they give her," charity director Costas Giannopoulos told ABC News.

Authorities will conduct further genetic tests to pinpoint Maria's age and ethnicity, and a child psychologist and Roma translator will interview the girl following a court order, Giannopoulos added.

Interpol has also issued a Yellow Notice for Maria, which includes a photo and a DNA profile, and Blue Notices for Christos Salis, 39, and Eleftheria Dimopoulou, 40, who claimed to be the child's parents. Blue Notices seek additional information about a person's identity, location or activities, and anyone with information is encouraged to contact national police or Greek authorities.

As NBC News reports, DNA tests have revealed Maria and the couple are not biologically related. Authorities have charged Salis and Dimopoulou with child abduction and forgery after finding fake birth certificates used to claim welfare for as many as 14 children, though only 10 have been accounted for.

The couple have since claimed they were given Maria by a Bulgarian mother who could not care for her, with their lawyer saying the couple's only crime is taking the girl in illegally, according to the New York Daily News.

If Maria's biological parents are not identified within six months, her legal adoption process could then begin, authorities told ABC.

Interpol has more than 600 missing persons listed in its online database, CNN notes, of which 32 are between 5 and 6 years old. Ten of those cases of missing children in the United States, Canada, Poland and France are being "taken very seriously" in relation to the Maria investigation.

Thousands of calls have been received in connection with the case, including some speculating she could be Lisa Irwin, an American girl who went missing two years ago when she was 11 months old. A law enforcement agent told CNN authorities do not believe "there are enough similarities between the girls," however.

Investigators are also looking into a Canadian couple as the girl's possible parents, though no child in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police database appears to match Maria in age or resemblance.

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