Max Shatto's new life began in November, when he and his younger brother left a Russian orphanage with adoptive parents Laura and Alan Shatto. It ended just a few months later on Jan. 21, when the 3-year-old boy died amid accusations of abuse. Texas child welfare authorities are still investigating the matter, but as far as Russia is concerned, the case is closed: Officials in that country yesterday accused Laura Shatto of beating Max to death, the New York Times reports. One official claims that "American authorities" told him Max was "repeatedly beaten by his American mother," and that an autopsy found "his entire body was covered in bruises."
The governor of the region from which Max was adopted is now calling for his brother Kirill, 2, (now called Kristopher) to be returned to Russia. As for an official account of the boy's death, details are few. Texas child welfare authorities were informed of the death and also heard accusations of physical abuse and neglect, but the investigation won't be completed for two weeks. Authorities say there had been no prior abuse accusations, and they won't give out much information on the case, though an official says the household is being "monitored" to ensure Kristopher's safety. An orphanage doctor says the Shattos visited the boys multiple times and never did anything suspicious. (Read more Russia stories.)