‘Suspicious’ death of Russian boy adopted in US
Texas: Death of a 3-year old Russian boy adopted in US has reignited the tension between Russia and the US over child adoptions.
Russian authorities blame the death of a three year old Max Shatto on “inhuman abuse” by the American adoptee family, whereas the US officials say they are still investigating the case.
The child who was adopted by an American adoptee named Maxim Kuzmin, died on Jan 21, 2013 and had severe injuries on his head and legs, claimed Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry's special representative for human rights, according to the CNN.
Dolgov added that the child also suffered injuries to his abdomen and internal organs, which he said "could only be caused by strong blows."
The authorities in Texas who are referring to the case said that the child’s death was “suspicious”.
Kim Herrington, an investigator with the Ector County Medical Examiner's Office, said "suspicious" nature of the child's death, reported the CNN.
Texas Child Protective Services spokesman Patrick Crimmins confirmed the agency had received a report on Jan. 21 of the death of a 3-year-old named Max Shatto, and that the Ector County Sheriff's Office in West Texas was investigating.
Crimmins said CPS had received allegations of physical abuse and neglect, but had not determined whether those allegations were true. Sgt. Gary Duesler, spokesman for the Ector County Sheriff's Office, said no arrests have been made and authorities are waiting for autopsy results.
An obituary for Max Shatto published Jan. 26 by the Midland Reporter-Telegram says he was born on Jan. 9, 2010, in the town of Pskov, near Russia's western border with Estonia. The boy lived with a family in Gardendale, about 350 miles west of Dallas, before his death on Jan. 21, according to the obituary.
The boy's listed adoptive parents, Alan and Laura Shatto, did not return a phone message Monday.
The death comes weeks after Russia announced it was banning all American adoptions in retaliation for a new U.S. law targeting alleged Russian human-rights violators. The ban also reflects lingering resentment over the 60,000 Russian children adopted by Americans in the past two decades, of which at least 19 have died.
Russian Foreign Ministry official Konstantin Dolgov said in a statement that the boy's death was "yet another case of inhuman treatment of a Russian child adopted by American parents."
Duesler said he could not immediately confirm or deny Russian allegations of abuse. Most U.S. government offices were closed Monday in observance of a federal holiday.
Dolgov also accused the U.S. Department of State of not helping Russian consular officials investigate the death. The State Department declined to comment. Crimmins said the consulate had contacted Child Protective Services.