TODAY   |  October 21, 2013

Couple arrested after girl found in Roma camp

Authorities in Greece are asking for international assistance to identify a four-year-old girl who was found living in a Roma camp with a couple who are charged with abducting her from her birth parents. NBC’s Natalie Morales reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> with a story touching people all around the world. it's a 4-year-old girl at the center of an international mystery.

>> that's right. this little 4-year-old being called the blonde angel. she was found by police living in a greek camp . a couple appeared in court charged with kidnapping but they say they actually adopted the little girl .

>> reporter: the lawyer representing a couple arrested for allegedly abducting a 4-year-old girl in greece says there's now a frantic search for the girl's biological mother to prove the child was adopted.

>> our clients' claim is that we never abduct this child. we just adopted.

>> reporter: police officers were searching for drugs in this camp in greece last week when they spotted the 4-year-old, maria , 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 very bad conditions and she was neglected.

>> reporter: the 40-year-old woman and 39-year-old man claiming to be maria 's parents have been arrested for abducting a minor and police are investigating whether the girl was a victim of trafficking. the couple are to appear before a prosecutor today.

>> if they wanted to do so, they probably will -- [ inaudible ] -- the child is about five years old and is still in this family. they loved her and they care as her own child.

>> reporter: maria 's story is being watched by the family of madeleine mccann who was three when she disappeared from a portuguese vacation apartment six years ago. a spokesman for madeline's parents say the discovery of this little girl in greece gives them great hope that their daughter could be found alive.

>>> authorities say there's tips pouring in from around the world and here in the u.s. police think the girl may be of northern or eastern european origin. possibly from scandinavia or bulgaria. it's a story a lot of people will be watching and waiting to hear.

>> how many families around the world are going to look at that imagine and say what about the possibility that my child that's missing could have been in the same state.

>> i hope we'll find answer