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

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.