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.
    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

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.