|Blonde Gypsy Mystery Sparks Thousands of Inquiries|
|By GILLIAN MOHNEY (@gillianmohney)||Oct 20, 2013, 5:00 PM|
After an unidentified girl, called "Maria," was found in a gypsy camp in Greece, thousands of people have called authorities to see if the girl could be related to other missing child cases.
Panagiotis Pardalis, a spokesman for the Smile of the Child charity that is currently caring for the girl, told ABCNews.com the organization had received at least 8,000 calls about the girl from all over the world including the U.S. and Canada.
The blond girl, approximately age 4, was found in a Roma gypsy settlement in central Greece. DNA tests proved that she was not related to the 39-year-old man and 40-year-old woman who claimed to be her parents.
As a result, authorities are now struggling to figure out where exactly she came from.
"We don't have any clue on [her origin]," Paradalis said. "This makes this story a mystery so far. What we're trying to do now is have experts from forensics and anthropologists ... determine her origin."
Paradalis said the girl was in the hospital undergoing tests to determine her origin and said she was in good health.
"She's feeling very happy," Paradalis said. "She's playing with her toys she's communicating with social workers and psychologists. She's improving day by day.
After testing is completed she will be transferred to a home associated with Smile of the Child, as investigators work to uncover her origin, he said.
Greek authorities have also asked for help from Interpol in trying to figure out the girl's origin.
Marietta Palavra, a lawyer for the couple who claimed to be "Maria's" parents, said a foreign stranger handed the mystery girl to them through an intermediary that claimed the birth mother could not support the child.
"Just because (the suspect) had forged documents, it doesn't make her a kidnapper," Palavra told The Associated Press in Athens. "The couple loved the girl as if she were their own."
The girl was discovered during a drug and weapons raid on the Roma community near Farsala in central Greece. A female prosecutor accompanying the raid first noticed the girl's head poking out from under bedclothes and raised the alarm.
Police said in a statement that the pair had registered 14 children in three different Greek regions. They gave authorities conflicting accounts as to how the mystery girl ended up in their charge, with the mother alleging she gave birth to six children in less than 10 months.
Two other little girls and a boy were also found with Maria at the camp. Their relationship to the couple has not yet been confirmed, although police say the children bear resemblance to the couple. The other 10 children remain unaccounted for.
ABC News' Liz Fields contributed to this report.