MOSCOW, March 5 - RAPSI. Russian investigators believe the US conclusions about the death of Maxim Kuzmin (renamed Max Shatto), a three-year-old Russian boy adopted by a Texan family, are contradictory and they intend to find out the real causes behind his death, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said.
"It is strange that a US social security employee initially said that Maxim died because his adoptive mother abused him. It was also said that numerous bruises and scratch marks were found on Maxim's head and legs and the autopsy revealed injuries in his lower abdomen and internal organs. However, the US now says that the boy's death was accidental and due to a self-inflicted injury," Markin said.
The spokesman said that the US conclusions "are too contradictory" and make one wonder.
"To us, the circumstances of Maxim Kuzmin's death will remain unclear until the true cause of his death is determined. To do this, Russian investigators need to read the materials of the US investigation. If our US colleagues want to convince us that the boy's death was accidental, we cannot see any reason why they should not share the investigation materials with us if we request their legal assistance according to established procedure. They can begin by sending us the medical examiners' conclusions," Markin said.
Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland said on March 1 that the accusations made by some Russian officials that the boy's adoptive mother, Laura Shatto, had intentionally killed the boy were not consistent with the evidence.
"I had four doctors agree that this is the result of an accident," Bland said at a joint news conference with Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson, referring to the death of Max Shatto (Maxim Kuzmin) on January 21.
He said that three medical examiners from Ector County, and a fourth independent expert who was asked to review their conclusions, had found no sign of drugs in the boy's system and added that bruises on his body were consistent with self-inflicted injuries.
Children's Rights Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov announced Kuzmin's death on February 18. The three-year-old was adopted by a Texan couple last fall. Astakhov tweeted that the child had been given powerful "psychotropic substances" and was badly beaten before he died in a hospital on January 21. His adoptive parents Alan and Laura Shatto also adopted the boy's two-year-old brother, Kirill Kuzmin, who is still living with the couple.