TODAY   |  October 20, 2013

Mystery of 'blonde angel' rescued from Greek camp

She's being called the “blonde angel,” and it was a four-year-old girl’s blonde hair and pale skin that led to her rescue. The search is now on for her parents. NBC’s Duncan Golestani reports.

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>>> a worldwide search is under way for the parents of this little girl . she was found neglected, living in terrible conditions in an area police believe is very far from her home. duggen joins us from london.

>> reporter: good morning, erica. when you look at that girl , you understand why the police were suspicious living with a gypsy family in greece. now, officers are investigating whether she's the victim of a child-trafficking network across europe. she's being called the "the blond angel," and it was maria 's blond hair and pale skin that led to her rescue. now, authorities need to find out where the mystery girl really belongs. police officers were searching for drugs in this roma gypsy camp in central greece when they spotted the 4-year-old peeking out from under a blanket. police say there was no resemblance to her supposed parents, and dna tests proved there was no biological relationship.

>> she was living in a very bad conditions, and she was neglected. abused.

>> reporter: officers say maria was dirty when she was found. they washed her and saw the difference. the couple claiming to be her parents have been charged with abduction. a relative said maria was given to the family, and they raised her in a nice way. maria 's story has been watched by the family of another girl, madeline mccann , who's been missing for six years.

>> my shoe!

>> reporter: a spokesman for her parents says it gives kate and jerry great hope their daughter could be found alive. she was 3 when she disappeared from a portuguese vacation apartment. now, police are following up with hundreds of phone calls from the public, after releasing these new computer-generated images. they show a man seen on the night that maddie went missing. her parents have been appearing on european crime shows trying to create new leads, hoping their little girl is found, too. maria is now being cared for by a charity, which says it has received thousands of calls since friday for people looking for their missing children , or trying to offer clues. erica, a worrying story, but one that kind of offers hope.