Greek police said Thursday they may have found a young Italian girl who went missing four years ago in Sicily.
Police found the girl Wednesday on the Aegean island of Kos after receiving a tip from an Italian tourist who stayed there last month. The Roma woman who accompanied the girl to the island was taken into custody Thursday and charged with abducting a minor, Greek police spokesman Panayiotis Stathis said.
"(The suspect) was unable to certify that the girl was her daughter," Stathis said.
Denise Pipitone, who would be nearly 8 years old, disappeared from outside her home in Italy on Sept. 1, 2004. Stathis said the girl found on the island is between 8 and 9 years old and reportedly matches Pipitone's description. A blood sample was taken to establish her identity.
"Greek police asked the Italian branch of Interpol for the parents of the missing girl to send a blood sample, to establish whether they are this child's parents," Stathis said.
He said the process would take at least 10 days.
In Italy, the ANSA news agency said Denise's mother, Piera Maggio, was shown pictures of the girl found in Greece. Maggio said the girl's eyes are similar to those of her daughter, but noted that this was not the first time a girl looking like Denise had been spotted.
Stathis said an Italian tourist notified Italian authorities this month that she believed she had seen the girl during a vacation on Kos in late August.
"(The tourist) talked to the little girl who spoke Italian," Stathis told the Associated Press. "When she returned to Italy she saw a poster (for a missing child), recognized the girl from Kos ... and told her local police."
The tourist said she had seen the girl on a beach, begging for money with a Roma woman and a small boy.
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