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U.S. to Assist in Probe of Adopted Russian Boy's Death

The U.S. State Department will assist in Russia's probe into the January death of a 3-year-old Russian boy adopted by an American woman, a spokesman told RIA-Novosti on Wednesday.

Children's ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said the boy, Maxim Kuzmin, was killed by his adoptive mother in Texas on Jan. 21 in a statement on his official website on Tuesday.

The Russian Embassy "learned about [the death] despite the lack of a reaction from the U.S. department," he said.

On his Twitter, Astakhov also said the boy had been "beaten (according to investigators) by his adoptive mother, who had been giving him powerful psychotropic medication for a long time."

Experts found multiple injuries on the boy's body, and he died before paramedics called by his mother arrived, Astakhov said.

The Foreign Ministry also issued an angry statement Tuesday about the boy's death, saying it had been caused by "inhuman abuse."

Experts discovered multiple injuries on the boy's head and legs, as well as on the abdominal cavity and other internal organs, the ministry said. The boy's adoptive parents also regularly treated him with Risderpal, a medication used to treat schizophrenia in adult patients.

"We hope that if these facts are confirmed in the course of the investigation, which the Russian Embassy in Washington and the Foreign Ministry will closely follow, those guilty of the boy's death will get a harsh punishment," the ministry said.

The statement identified the boy's adoptive mother as L. Shatto.

The ministry also lamented that it was "forced to state that the U.S. State Department, unlike Ector County authorities, has not helped in any way the representatives of our consulate to establish the cause of the latest lethal case concerning a Russian child in the U.S."

Apparently reacting to the criticism, the U.S. State Department said Wednesday it would organize talks between Russian Embassy officials in Washington and Texas authorities, RIA-Novosti reported.

The Investigative Committee announced Tuesday that it filed murder charges against the mother of the adopted boy, saying it "would take all possible measures necessary in order to make all those guilty of this heinous crime bear responsibility for it."

"The Investigative Committee will petition for the arrest in absentia of the adoptive mother of M. Kuzmin, so that Russian investigators take part in the murder investigation in the U.S.," a statement on the committee's official website said.

Kuzmin is the 20th Russian child to die in an American adoptive family since 1996, Astakhov said.

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