News / USA

Texas Authorities Investigate Death of Adopted Russian Child

Greg Flakus
Authorities in Ector County, in west Texas, are investigating the death of a three-year-old boy who was born in Russia and adopted by a US couple living in that area. A medical examiner raised questions about possible abuse after a preliminary inspection of the boy's body, which is now undergoing an autopsy.

State and local authorities are proceeding with an investigation into the death of three-year-old Max Shatto on January 21 in Odessa, Texas, but they still have no determination of cause and have not made any arrests. Ector County Sheriff's Department Sergeant Gary Duesler says several local agencies became involved in the case very quickly.

“The Medical Examiners office and, of course, our office is involved in it, Child Protective Services because it did not look like a natural death to us," said Duesler. "So we sent the body off for an autopsy in Tarrant County and we are currently waiting for the results to come back on that.”

Duesler says Odessa is too small to have its own autopsy facility so such cases are often handled by a hospital in a larger city like Dallas. He says investigators have spoken to the family, but have not filed any charges yet.

“We are starting to try to put the pieces of the puzzle together. It is an ongoing investigation and we are basically in limbo until we get results back from the autopsy," he said.

Duesler says the sheriff's department is in contact with the Russian embassy in Washington and with US Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. Senator Landrieu recently headed a group of ten US senators at a meeting with officials at the Russian embassy about the ban on US adoptions Russia imposed late last year.

At the US State Department Tuesday, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland described the death of Max Shatto as a tragedy and said US officials are keeping in touch with both the Russian embassy and the Russian consulate in Houston.

But Nuland cautioned that it is still too early to say what happened to the adopted boy.

“Nobody should jump to any conclusions about how this child died until Texas authorities have had a chance to investigate," said Nuland.

The death of the boy in west Texas has aroused Russian critics of US child adoptions who say not enough is being done to protect adopted children from abusive or negligent parents. Russian officials expressed outrage in 2008 when an adopted toddler named Dima Yakovlev died in Virginia after being left alone in a closed car in intense heat. Max Shatto, whose birth name was Maxim Kuzmin, came from the same orphanage in Russia. Texas officials say his two-year-old brother remains in the home of the adoptive parents, Alan and Laura Shatto, while the investigation proceeds.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sheri from: Galveston Texas
February 20, 2013 4:13 AM
A 3 year old is dead & there has not been an arrest? Did he fall from a 2 story building? The state of Texas has had over a month for an autopsy & NOTHING has been said or done? On top of that the other child is LEFT IN THE HOME!?


by: Justiceformom from: USA
February 19, 2013 8:58 PM
This article is not based on any factual evidence. These parents are innocent and a victim of abuse by the Russian government.

In Response

by: Anonymous
February 20, 2013 12:27 AM
No in humane acts were done by these adoptive parents. The autopsy will prove it! Make sure the autopsy is public knowledge so Russia does not get a bias stance on this matter!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
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 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 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.

All About America

AppleAndroid