News / USA

    Texas Investigation Continues After Russian Boy's Autopsy

    The Medical Examiner's Office in Ector County, Texas is continuing its investigation into the death of a three-year-old Russian adopted child even though they have had the autopsy results for a week.  Authorities are providing little information on what they have learned so far.

    The investigation into the death of three-year-old Max Shatto has been in a holding pattern since his body was sent to the Tarrant County, Texas Medical Examiner's office, in  the city of Fort Worth, on January 22, the day after he died. But the office in Fort Worth sent an autopsy report to the Medical Examiner in Ector County, which has jurisdiction in the case, last week.

    Ector County, in west Texas, does not have a facility for doing autopsies. But Linda Anderson, spokeswoman for the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office, where the autopsy was done, says authorities there will have to make the final determination of how the child died.

    “We just did the autopsy and we then send the information to them. If they want to continue to investigate, they can do that, before they release their report," said Anderson.

    She says it is not unusual to have an autopsy report take several weeks because of the time needed for toxicology and body chemistry test results, which are included in the final report sent to the investigating authorities.

    “We give them the cause of death and then we give them a suggested manner of death, our opinion on what was the manner of death, but then it is ultimately up to them as to how they rule it, as far as the manner is concerned," she said.

    The man heading the investigation is Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson, but he says he cannot proceed until the report is on his desk.

    “The designated medical examiner for Ector County has to make his final determination and then send it to me and that is when we go from there," Donaldson.

    The Medical Examiner for Ector County is Dr. Nathan Galloway, but his office is not providing any information to journalists, referring all questions back to Sheriff Donaldson.

    The sheriff says representatives of the Russian embassy in Washington and the Russian consulate in Houston have been in contact and that Sergey Chumarev, senior counselor for the Russian embassy came to his office in the city of Odessa, Texas a couple of weeks ago and spoke to one of his deputies.

    Donaldson: “We informed him the same thing we informed the rest of the public.”

    Flakus: “Did he mention at any time that they wanted to participate in the investigation?”

    Donaldson: “Oh, I think he did.”

    Flakus: “And what was your response?”

    Donaldson: “Again, I did not talk to him, but my response to all of them is 'No.' “

    Political figures in Russia have charged that the adoptive parents of Max Shatto, Alan and Laura Shatto, were responsible for his death and have asked that his younger brother, Kristopher, who was also adopted by the couple, be removed from the home. But the US State Department has cautioned that no judgment should be made until the investigation is complete and state officials monitoring the home have found no reason to remove the remaining child.

    Meantime, Texas Child Protective Services is investigating the agency that handled the adoption for the Shattos, the Gladney Adoption Center in Fort Worth, to make sure all proper procedures were followed. Texas officials say the 127-year-old private agency remains in good standing, but that licensing inspectors did find some errors in procedure in four cases last year in which children were sent to homes before the background check on the adopting parents was complete.

    You May Like

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Mali, a Way Station for Syrians Headed to Europe

    Another door may be closing for Syrians fleeing the conflict in their country, this time in Africa

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora