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21 Feb, 2013 15:02

Texas police yet to confirm nature of Russian toddler’s death

Texas police yet to confirm nature of Russian toddler’s death

For the first time US authorities have officially rejected the Russian version of events surrounding the death of three-year-old adoptee Maksim Kuzmin. Meanwhile, Russia’s children’s ombudsman Pavel Astakhov has withdrawn his initial accusations.

Earlier the ombudsman claimed that the boy “was killed by his adoptive US mother,” who had reportedly also given the child strong psychotropic medicine intended for treating schizophrenia in adults. “I think that a criminal inquiry will be opened anyway because even if she is not found guilty of murder she will face negligence charges,” Astakhov told Russia-24 television.

Although bruises consistent with physical abuse were found on the child’s body, police are officially refusing to confirm any information and have already shown dismay at the Russian officials' accusations of beatings and murder. They claim that the nature of Maksim’s bruises warrants further investigation.

“Unfortunately, we get this particular kind of calls for unattended deaths, or deaths, every day. We go out there. Someone’s got a heart attack – we don’t put a press release out on that. A child has been injured in an ATV accident - we don’t put a press release out on that, unless we start suspecting that it is something out of the ordinary.

“And it wasn’t until a little bit later that we started getting some suspicions of what was going on. And that all developed from talking to parents, to people who lived there. It just took a little more time for us to develop what we have right now,”
Sergeant Gary P. Duessler, representative of Ector Country Sheriff’s Office, told RT.

According to Russian newspaper Kommersant, Russian authorities have already issued a informal apology to the American side, agreeing that there was no need to jump to conclusions on the matter.

Although the preliminary post-mortem results have reportedly been submitted to the US authorities, law enforcement officials have declined to say when the final report on Maksim’s death is to be released. These results are so far the only way to firmly prove the existence of the medication in the boy’s blood and the nature of the bruises on his body.

Maksim’s adoptive mother in the US stands by her version of the story - that she found the boy lying in the back yard unresponsive, after leaving him to play with his younger brother.

Meanwhile in Russia, the children’s biological mother now wants the younger boy, two-year-old Kirill, back from the US. She has expressed great remorse that her actions eventually led to the death of one of her sons. She expressed great desire to raise the younger child herself. Deprived of her rights because of her alcoholism, then-21-year-old Yulia Kuzmina had to give up Maksim to an orphanage. Later, Kirill was taken away from her for the same reason. In September 2012 their adoption by a US couple was approved. On the other hand, Kuzmina was taken off the long-distance train from Moscow to the town of Pskov on Monday over excessive drinking and violent behavior.

Maksim Kuzmin died on January 21. He is the 20th Russian child to have died in custody of an American adoptive family in the last 17 years, leaving the two countries in the midst of a fierce diplomatic battle.