After the death of a 13-year-old shaken baby survivor, authorities have said that her death could lead to homicide charges being laid against her parents.
In 1993, Christina Andrews was 4 months old. When her mother took her to a Boston hospital she was suffering from a skull fracture, blood on the brain, a bruised brain, retinal hemorrhaging, broken ribs and broken legs She was four months old. The beatings left Christina with severe mental and physical disabilities. She was legally blind and tube fed, had seizures and could not walk or talk. She died this week at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover.
Her parents, Michael Andrews and Anna Marie Turavani were arrested and convicted of assault. Both spent time in jail and have since been released.
Suffolk County District Attorney's office has said that they are waiting for the results of Christina's autopsy before they decide if any more changes will be laid. "At this point we're going to wait to see what develops in the autopsy and we'll continue to monitor the investigation. But at this point our actions will hinge on the findings of the medical examiner," said spokesman Jake Wark.
Barbara Andrews of Wakefield, was the girl's grandmother. She adopted Christine in 1996. Ms. Andrews feels insulted that the authorities are insisting that an autopsy be performed to see if Christina's death was due to her prior injuries and worries that the family will not be able to have an open casket funeral.
"There are people all over the state that love her and when they see the death notice they're going to want to see her. I don't want them to see a closed casket. I want them to see Chrissy and say goodbye to her,"
Barbara Andrews has devoted the last 12 years of her life toward raising awareness of shaken baby syndrome. She has traveled to schools, conferences and workshops all around the state of New Hampshire.
"She has been my other hip," Andrews said. "Even though we've gone through hard times, all that little girl had to do was smile and it was all worth it."
What do you think? Should the state force the family to have an autopsy to pursue further charges against her parents? I personally don't see a problem with this but the grandmother seems pretty adamant about the open-casket funeral.