A TEENAGE boy was found starving in 2013 weighing just 37 pounds with 44 sores and rotten teeth before officials investigated the role of child service protocols in his death.
Alexandru Radita died in May 2013 after being isolated from the outside world and starving to death due to deliberate neglect by his parents.
At age 15, Alex died in his bed at his family’s home in Calgary, Alberta, a province of Canada, from a bacterial infection caused by complications from starvation and his untreated type 1 diabetes.
Nine years after Alex’s death, Alex’s case is an investigation into child care protocols to prevent more children from meeting the same tragic fate.
Although Alex’s parents, Emil and Rodica Radita, had known about their son’s diagnosis since he was two years old, they repeatedly told medical officials that they did not believe Alex had diabetes, according to evidence collected at their trial. presented.
When the boy’s body was found, he was in the 0.1 percentile for 15-year-olds based on his weight and height, according to the coroner.
Alex had 44 sores and wounds covering his body, and his teeth were “rotten to stumps,” said forensic pathologist Dr. Jeffery Gofton.
A neck wound on the boy was so deep that his jawbone was exposed and his neck muscles were “almost total liquefaction,” Gofton said.
After being hospitalized several times for several years of untreated diabetes, Alex was on the brink of death at the age of five.
That year in 2003, when Alex was taken to the hospital, he was so ill that he was only hours away from dying from his illness.
Alex was then taken from his family for about a year under the care of British Columbia Children’s Services.
However, he returned to his parents with a judge in the belief that Alex would be monitored by the school and health officials.
His family moved from Surrey, British Columbia to Alberta in 2009, where they disappeared off the face of the earth.
Because Alberta authorities were not aware of Alex’s file and Surrey officials were not aware of the move, Alex was vulnerable to abuse by his parents.
Alex was enrolled in the School of Hope, a distance learning program, in Vermillion, Alberta in 2009 for 5th grade, but he never turned in work and no one from the school ever saw him.
At the end of the school year, Alex was taken out of school.
The boy was kept in “deliberate isolation” by his parents and therefore had no contact with anyone who might have intervened, said Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Karen Horner.
“He didn’t have friends or teachers or support people or doctors, or really nobody,” Crown Prosecutor Susan Pepper told TNZT.
Alex has seven surviving siblings, but their condition is unknown.
In 2017, Alex’s parents were convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
The parents were given the opportunity to apply to the court for the conviction, but they refused.
Alex’s tragic case has prompted a review that will reveal how the state could have intervened to save Alex’s life, said provincial judge Sharon Van de Veen.
Recommendations are expected to be made to prevent similar deaths in the future, Van de Veen said.
“Government officials were involved throughout this child’s life, including Child and Family Services in the province of British Columbia and doctors and pharmacists,” said Van de Veen.
The review will look at protocols between ministries of child officials in the provinces, protocols for warnings regarding the presence of children in home or online education, and intervention by pharmacists when insulin medication is used sporadically.
Prosecutor Pepper told the outlet: “As good as our system is, it should be better. That shouldn’t happen.”
She added: “If this case could lead to anything, it would be a meaningful discussion about how to fix things and how to bring change for other children living in circumstances that may not lead to murder, but who are suffering. “
A social worker who worked with the family while they were in British Columbia is working to create an “Alex Alert” that will notify authorities when a family charged with monitoring abuse and/or neglect moves to another province .
She told TNZT that Alex was “a very brave and very smart little man” who would have wanted his death to have some meaning to others.
The assessment of Alex’s death began on Monday and will continue throughout the week.