Russian girl killed in U.S. was adopted legally

Russian prosecutors say that the adoption of a 2-year-old Russian girl allegedly killed by her American adoptive mother Peggy Sue Hilt was legal. According to the information, given by an adoption agency which took part in the adoption, the Hilts had had "stable and happy relationship," with a "positive experience" in bringing up an adopted child.

Investigators began looking into the adoption of Nina Hilt after the girl died earlier this month in Virginia. Her adoptive mother, Peggy Sue Hilt, 33, of Wake Forest, North Carolina, was arrested last week and charged with the girl's murder, reports the AP.

The Interfax news agency reported Monday that Russian prosecutors found the girl was adopted with no violations of federal regulations. The agency cited a senior aide to prosecutor Alexander Semyonov in the Siberian city of Irkutsk.

Hilt's arrest came just weeks after Russian authorities stripped three U.S.-based adoption agencies of their accreditation, saying they failed to monitor the children's well-being in their adoptive families. Earlier this year, an Illinois woman was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the death of her 6-year-old son, who died weeks after she and her husband adopted the boy from Russia.

About 20,000 children are adopted in the United States each year, with Russian children accounting for some 25 percent of their total number. At least 12 adopted Russian children have died since 1996.

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