DNA tests have confirmed that Sasha Ruseva, a 35-year-old Roma woman in Bulgaria, is the mother of the mysterious "blonde angel" girl found living in a gypsy encampment with an unrelated couple earlier this week, the Bulgarian Interior Ministry said Friday.
Ruseva, who has nine other children, said she gave birth to "Maria" four years ago in Greece, according to The Associated Press
. She was working as an olive picker at the time and didn't have enough money to support another baby, so she gave her up to a Gypsy couple. She insists she was not paid for the child.
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Officers searching a gypsy encampment for drugs and illegal firearms stumbled across the blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl in central Greece last week
. They were put off by her appearance because she looked strikingly unlike the 40-year-old woman and a 39-year-old man she was living with.
The Gypsy couple told authorities that a poor Bulgarian woman had given the child to them because she was too poor to raise her, but investigators immediately suspected it was either a case of child smuggling or child abduction.
Maria was placed with a children's charity in Athens and the Gypsy couple was jailed.
Ruseva then came forward Thursday offering to take a DNA test and saying that she would like to take Maria back.
Roma by ethnicity, Ruseva has dark hair and eyes, but insists her husband carries an albino gene that was responsible for Maria's pale skin and blonde hair. Photos obtained by the Daily Mail show that two of Ruseva's other children also have the same light features.
Ruseva is reportedly due to appear in court for further questioning Friday, and it's not yet clear what will happen to the Gypsy couple she gave Maria to.
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