News / USA

Texas Investigation Continues After Russian Boy's Autopsy

Greg Flakus
— 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

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid