Bruises found on dead adopted Russian tot, Texas officals say

A lawmaker (bottom) signals to his fellow legislators to vote for a bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children in the lower house of Russiaâ NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images

ODESSA, Texas Authorities in West Texas say a 3-year-old boy adopted from Russia had several bruises on his body and was unresponsive when he was brought into a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Russian authorities have blamed the Jan. 21 death of Max Shatto on "inhuman treatment" at the hands of his adoptive American family. An autopsy is pending.

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  • Shirley Standefer, chief investigator for the Ector County Medical Examiner's office, says there were signs of bruising on Max's body, including in the lower abdominal area. But she said she could not comment on whether those bruises appeared to be intentional or accidental.

    The case has gotten international attention in the wake of a recent Russian ban on all American adoptions. Russia said the ban is in retaliation for a new U.S. law targeting alleged Russian human-rights violators. The ban also reflects lingering resentment over the 60,000 Russian children adopted by Americans in the past two decades, of which at least 19 have died.

    Russian Foreign Ministry official Konstantin Dolgov said in a statement that the boy's death was "yet another case of inhuman treatment of a Russian child adopted by American parents."

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