The couple who were found with a 4-year-old blonde girl named Maria who's unrelated to them have explained how they obtained custody, telling authorities that a prostitute handed them the girl to care for. NBC's Michelle Kosinski reports.
ATHENS, Greece -- DNA taken from the blonde girl found in a Roma camp last week does not match anyone in Interpol's global database of missing people, officials said.
Authorities asked the international police agency to help identify the youngster, known as Maria, who continues to be cared for in a hospital in Larissa, Greece.
"A comparison of the girl's profile against Interpol's global DNA database has not produced a match," Interpol said in a statement late Tuesday. "All of the organization’s 190 member countries are now being encouraged to check her DNA profile against their own national databases, as Greek authorities investigate whether the young girl known as ‘Maria’ may have been abducted or fallen prey to child traffickers."
Interpol also issued "Blue Notices" for Christos Salis, 39, and Eleftheria Dimopoulou, 40, who claimed to be Maria's parents until DNA tests revealed they were not biologically related.
The FBI is joining the international authorities searching for the parents of the 4-year-old girl now known as "Maria," who was found in a Roma camp. NBC's Michelle Kosinski reports.
Magistrates on Monday ordered that the couple be held in custody until they face trial on charges of abduction and procuring false documents. They denied snatching Maria and said her mother handed the girl to them shortly after giving birth.
“Blue Notices are issued to collect additional information about a person’s identity, location or activities,” Interpol said in the statement.
Panagiotis Pardalis, a communications officer at The Smile of a Child charity that is looking after Maria, told NBC News that new information was still coming in, adding to the more than 10,000 tips received since last week.
“There are eight to 10 good leads,” he said, adding that four cases from the U.S. and one from Canada were being seriously examined.
Although he declined to reveal the identity of the American parents, Pardalis said that most of the cases were well-publicized and had been covered extensively by the media in the past.
Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin have been searching for their daughter Lisa for two years.
Paradalis added that The Smile of a Child charity has had calls from people offering to adopt Maria but that decision does not rest with them. Greek authorities will decide what happens next.
Jeremy Irwin and Deborah Bradley, whose baby daughter Lisa Irwin vanished from their Kansas City home in Oct. 2011, told NBC News station KSHB that after studying Maria's picture they believed that she could be their child.
The couple's lawyer contacted the FBI about the Maria case on Tuesday. They said the girls light blue eyes and facial features resembled their daughter who was 10 months old when she disappeared.
“I looked up the average weight and height of a child who is in the 95th percentile at age three and it matched Maria's height and weight perfectly,” Bradley told the station.
She added that in the two years that Lisa has been missing they have investigated numerous tips they have received about their daughter, only to be disappointed.
“It's kind of like Groundhog Day, you wake up and every day is the same without your baby,” Bradley said. “You have to function and you have to maintain for her sake, so that we can continue to search for her.”
Police raiding a Roma in central Greece found a young fair-skinned, blonde girl who was living with a couple later proven not to be her parents. NBC's Michelle Kosinski reports.
However, the chances of the girl found in the Roma camp being baby Lisa appeared to be slim because a dental examination suggested Maria is between five and six years old.
As a result of the high-profile case, Greece's top court ordered an investigation into birth certificates issued across the country in the past six years on the basis of a signed declaration by parents rather than those issued after births recorded at a hospital.
Any cases of false birth certificates found must be investigated further for any evidence tying it to illegal abduction or human trafficking, the order issued on Tuesday said.
NBC News' Katerina Voussoura and Reuters contributed to this report. Henry Austin reported from London.
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This story was originally published on Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:30 AM EDT