News / USA

Texas Officials Monitor Home of Adopted Russian Boy

FILE - Russian child's death follows international controversy over the Russian ban on U.S. adoptions; protest sign says "Do not involve children in politics," St. Petersburg, Dec. 26, 2012.
FILE - Russian child's death follows international controversy over the Russian ban on U.S. adoptions; protest sign says "Do not involve children in politics," St. Petersburg, Dec. 26, 2012.
Greg Flakus
Texas officials are keeping close watch on the home of Kristopher Shatto to ensure the two-year-old's well-being. His three-year-old brother, Max, died a month ago in Ector County, in west Texas, and authorities are awaiting autopsy results to determine the cause of his death.

Russian politicians accuse the boys' adoptive parents of abuse and have turned the case into a diplomatic issue.

Texas Child Protective Services is working with local authorities to investigate the January 21 death of Max Shatto.

While authorities await autopsy results from medical examiners in Fort Worth, CPS representatives are making frequent visits to the home where two-year-old Kristopher Shatto remains, according to an agency spokesman Patrick Crimmins.

“We need to determine if there is any risk to any of the children who remain in the home, and we need to reduce or eliminate that risk and remove the child from the home if necessary," he said. "That has not proven necessary in this case at this time.”

According to Crimmins, there were no reported problems at the home before Max died and no evidence of abuse that would cause concern has been uncovered.

Witnesses at the hospital where Max was taken by ambulance described his mother, Laura Shatto, as emotionally upset.

Laura Shatto provided limited information about what happened that day at the family home in Gardendale, Texas, which is about 525 kilometers west of Fort Worth, according to Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson.

“We sent an investigator to the hospital to talk to the mother," Donaldson said. "The mother stated that she had been outside with the boys. They were playing. She had to go inside for a bit of time and when she came back out, Max was on the ground unresponsive.”

Alan and Laura Shatto have remained in their home since the death and have refused to speak to reporters, leaving the following message on their phone answering machine: “If this is a reporter or news agency, we have no comment.”

A medical examiner in Odessa, Texas, noticed bruises on the body at the hospital and sent the remains to Fort Worth. A toxicology report is a routine part of that procedure and results of such chemical tests can take several weeks.

Meanwhile, Ector County Sheriff's Department Lt. Roddie Eaton says the investigation continues.

“You still have people you talk to, you have other doctors involved that you are interviewing, you have evidence you have collected and things of that nature that you still conduct your investigation with.” Eaton said.

But authorities are not speaking about the specific evidence in this case since it is an ongoing investigation and no one has been charged with a crime.

Texas authorities also are in frequent contact with the Russian diplomats in the U.S. But Sheriff Donaldson says Russian officials will not be allowed to participate directly in the investigation.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid