Beauty Queen Who Was Captured By Gypsies at Age 4 Finally Reunites with Family 16 Years Later

| by Paul Brown

It sounds like something out of a movie, but it's a true story: at age four, Olga Romanovich was abducted from her mother by a group of gypsies in eastern Europe and traded for a pair of gold earrings. Now, some sixteen years later, the search for her mother has finally come to an end.

When she was four years of age, Olga's mother, Tamara, moved from Belarus to Moldova to get away from her ex-husband. Destitute and down on her luck, she ran into a group of gypsies who she conversed with outside of shop. When she went into the shop for a pack of cigarettes, the group disappeared with her young daughter, she claims.

The group took young Olga to the border of Ukraine and sold her to another gypsy for a pair of earrings in the Moldovan city of Soroki. This gypsy changed Olga's name to Maria Preyda and raised her as if she was her own child, according to Olga.

While she felt loved and accepted by the gypsies she was living with, Olga knew all along that she was not a true part of their family. She also knew her whole life that her name was really Olga, and never really got used to the name Maria Preyda. As Olga stated to a local newspaper, "that feeling comes when you realize that it's not your life. You're not one of them like everybody else. You're different."

As of this month, Olga "has been reunited with her birth family in Belarus after Interpol helped her track them down," according to the Daily Mail. This family includes some aunts and uncles, as well as her three birth brothers. Her mother is very ill, though, and "doesn't live, she just exists," according to Olga.

Now, Olga, who won a beauty contest in Moldova before moving back to Belarus to live with her birth family, is going to study to become a doctor.