ATHENS, Greece — The parents of Lisa Irwin, the 11-month-old baby who disappeared in October 2011 from her Kansas City North home, contacted Greek authorities with the hope that the little girl discovered last week in a gypsy camp in Greece is Lisa, according to the Daily Mail in the United Kingdom.
Jeremy Irwin, 31, and Deborah Bradley, 30, said they contacted Greek police through their attorney John Picerno. Picerno said the inquiry is one of four American inquiries about the unidentified blonde girl.
“It’s not a stretch to say that Lisa’s alive, we certainly believe that Lisa’s alive based on all the facts and circumstances in the case,” said Picerno.
As a baby, Lisa had blonde hair and blue eyes. She would be three-years-old in November.
Bridget Patton, FBI spokesperson in Kansas City, confirmed that the FBI also reached out to Greek authorities. Patton said it is normal protocol for the FBI to do so after receiving numerous calls about the possibility that the child could be Lisa Irwin.
Patton said while Lisa is turning three next month, the mystery child is believed to be five or six years old.
The girl was found in the Greece gypsy camp during a raid as part of a crackdown on illegal activity in the gypsy community.
Officials say she does not resemble the couple she lived with and DNA tests proved she wasn’t their child. The couple is a 39-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman.
A top official with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in Virginia said the center works with law enforcement groups to collect data, biometrics information and DNA that can be used to compare with samples from Maria.
“Frankly, right now … it does not appear that this may be any of our children. But again we want to confirm one way or the other,” said Robert Lowery, the senior executive director of the organization’s missing children division.
He added that a definitive comparison could be done “rather quickly.”
Authorities say the woman in Greece claimed to have given birth to six children in a total of less than ten months.
The couple was arrested and charged with abducting a minor. Police said they repeatedly changed their story about how the little girl, approximately four-years-old, came to live with them, and accuse the man and woman of using the little girl to make money by begging.
The child is going by the name “Maria” and has also been labeled the “Blonde Angel” in the Greek media. Bradley said she’s happy the girl will have a new home, even if it’s not Baby Lisa.
“Either way, we’re just happy that there’s a little girl who will be returned to her family and their nightmare will end, and it gives us more hope than we already have. I have immense hope not only that she’s ok but that she’s going to come home,” Bradley said.
Authorities have received thousands of inquiries about the little girl from parents whose children are missing. At least four of those inquiries came from the United States, according to the U.K.’s Daily Mail.