Two Arizona women who were at first charged with child abuse have now been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of a 9-year-old girl.
The girl, who was not identified, died on March 22, according to KOLD-TV in Tucson.
Based on the conditions in which she was found, her mother, Sandra Kraykovich, 38, and her grandmother, Elizabeth Kraykovich, 64, both Tucson residents, were originally charged with felony child abuse, before an autopsy was done or the investigation was completed, KOLD reported.
The autopsy for the girl, whose name has not been released, showed signs of malnutrition, fatty liver disease, and heart issues.
Arizona Women Charged with Murder After Authorities Say 9-Year-Old Died From ‘Enormous’ Hair Lice Infestation https://t.co/0lxguMF1Ts
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“There is a cause of death. The manner is undetermined,” said Pima County Medical Examiner Dr. Hess, according to KGUN-TV. “She died from anemia from untreated lice infestation with malnutrition as a contributing factor. That’s the cause.”
KOLD noted a string of text messages recovered by authorities showed the girl’s mother and grandmother were aware that she was sick as early as March 8.
Elizabeth Kraykovich, the girl’s grandmother, at one point texted the girl’s mother, Sandra Kraykovich, accusing her of being more interested in her boyfriend than caring for her children, the station reported.
Text messages from Sandra Kraykovich on March 14 and March 15 indicated she considered taking the child to an emergency room but did not, according to KOLD.
On March 21, the station reported, Elizabeth Kraykovich texted Sandra Kraykovich that the girl “can’t go to the ER with her hair but that’s left up to me cause your not home,” a reference to the lice in the girl’s hair.
Authorities said they were told by a sibling that mouthwash had been used as a way to rid the girl’s hair of lice, according to KOLD.
The same day, the girl’s mother texted her boyfriend with her concerns over the girl.
“OMG babe. Listen I’m in my room and my mom was called me. [Name redacted] was asking if I could check on her to make sure she isn’t dying,” the text stated, according to the station.
According to KGUN, court documents noted that when first responders came to treat the girl in March, “a large amount of bugs began to cover her face. Upon closer inspection it was discovered that there was an enormous amount of lice in her hair.”
The station reported that Sandra Kraykovich told police that ”if she had sought medical care [name redacted] would probably still be alive. She recognized she should have sought medical care for [name redacted] but admitted she did not because of the lice infestation.”
Other children who were in the house, who also were infested with lice, have since been removed from the home, KOLD reported.
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