When two-year-old Maxim Kichigin was adopted out of an orphanage in Russia's far east in 2012, it should have marked the beginning of a new life for him. Instead, the boy, whose name had been changed to Maxim Maravalle, was strangled to death on July 17 of this year at his new home in Pescara, Italy. <a href="http://en.ria.ru/world/20140721/191066517/Adoptive-Parents-of-Russian-Boy-Strangled-in-Italy-Reported-Kid-Well-Being.html" target="_hplink"> His adoptive father, 47-year-old Massimo Maravalle has been charged with aggravated homicide</a> and police are still investigating the circumstances of the young boy's death.
While Maxim's adoptive parents submitted reports attesting that he was adapting well to his new life in Italy, Russian authorities had no idea that Massimo Maravalle had a history of psychiatric problems or that he was under a psychiatrist's care. Police have interviewed psychiatrist, <a href="http://www.iltempo.it/abruzzo/2014/07/20/maravalle-doveva-incontrare-il-medico-1.1273157" target="_hplink">Alessandro Rossi, and determined that Maravalle had chosen to discontinue his medication several days before Maxim's death as he insisted that he was feeling better</a>. Rossi also stated that he had no role in the adoption process despite being Maravalle's psychiatrist since 2006.
Previous reports stated that Maxim had a positive relationship with Massimo Maravalle and his wife Patrizia but questions are now being raised about what signs may have been missed. Other witnesses have reported that the suspect had been seen shaking Maxim a few days before his death although it is still unknown whether psychiatric problems contributed to his actions.
To read more, check out my Huffington Post piece here.