American family starves 8-year-old boy adopted in Russia to death

The death of a Russian foster child came to light six months afterwards

Denis Uritsky, an 8-year-old boy from Russia, was killed by his American adoptive parents. Donna and Samuel Merryman, a married couple from the U.S., the pious teachers at a Sunday school, starved their foster son to death. Prior to the ill-fated adoption, the child had lived in an orphanage located in the town of Ochery, Perm region, Russia. His adoptive parents, though it is hard to call those monsters “parents,” did not torture or beat up the child. They simply did not give him any food. He eventually died from starvation.

The child was killed back in January 2005. The Russian media reported on the tragic incident just a few days ago. As regards the U.S. media, it simply disregarded the news. Baltimore Sun, a local Maryland newspaper printed a few words on the incident. Anyway, the news apparently was not hot enough to be printed as a headline story by the Maryland paper.

Those who follow the news on the subject can reach some other conclusions. The media measures out an exact dosage of information on the killing of Russian children in the U.S., it does not care whether information is fresh or obsolete. It is quite possible that next month the Russian media will report on yet another horrendous incident involving the death of a Russian child in the U.S. And nobody will be surprised to find out that the child was actually killed a year ago.

Why did not the stories about the killing of Russian foster children in the U.S. cause a sensation in the past? Was it because there were no incidents of that sort in the past? Who wants to stir up the public opinion against the U.S. adoptions?  The above questions still need to be answered.

A judge in the state of Maryland released the killers of the boy from custody after $50,000 bail was deposited. The Merrymans are currently under home arrest. It is noteworthy that another judge plainly refused to release Peggy Hilt on bail because of the ghastly details of the case. Peggy Hilt is accused of beating to death her Russian foster daughter. Some U.S. judges apparently believe that the case of a child killed by starvation differs from the case of child put to death by beating.

The weight of 8-year-old Denis at the day of his death was 37 pounds (16.7 kilos). Meanwhile, his medical records show that he weighted 18 kilos in 2000.

When the medical workers arrived in the house of the Merryman, they saw a very scrawny kid. “The child was extremely underweight,” said James Eyler, a representative of district police department. He also said that no signs of physical violence had been found on the body of the child.

Numerous “family friends” and relatives claim the accusations are false and groundless. For example, Olivia Merryman, the mother of the “father” of the child, said that all the accusations were “a complete lie.” According to her, Denis died from his own numerous diseases. “I personally saw him eat,” said Olivia Merryman. “He came home that day, lay down on his bed, and he never got up again,” said Samuel's father. These days the relatives of the accused point out that the boy had numerous diseases including rickets and cystitis.

Meanwhile, doctors clearly stated that the boy had died an ultimate stage of emaciation. Denis Uritsky, his elder brother and his two elder sisters were adopted in January 2000. Aside from the adopted Russian children, the Merrymans also have two children of their own, and a daughter of Donna's from her previous marriage.

The above case is one of several cases featuring American adoptive parents who killed their Russian foster children. The case of Peggy Hilt is still going on. The accused brutally beat up Vika Bazhenova, a 2-year-old Russian girl adopted in Russia. The girl died on the following day. A new round of preliminary hearing is slated for October 4th. A forensic psychiatrist will give his expert opinion on certain circumstances pertaining to the crime. An expert's opinion will play a crucial role in the outcome of the trial. Peggy Hilt will get a term of imprisonment lasting from 4 years up to 40 years if she is found guilty as charged.

One Irma Pavlis is another American mom who killed her adopted Russian son. According to her, she got completely out of hand. First she was whipping the boy's buttocks with a rubber cord. Then she began banging his head against the toilet wall until the boy passed out and stopped breathing.

Irma Pavlis was found guilty of killing her 6-year-old foster son. She was sentenced to 12 years in jail. The jury acquitted her of the charges related to premeditated murder under aggravating circumstances. She would have been jailed for 45 years without parole if the court had found her guilty of the first-degree murder of a child. The prosecutor Michael Gerber expressed his disappointment about the verdict and said he would seek maximum punishment for Irma Pavlis.

Igor Parfinenko

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Author`s name Olga Savka