A mother and grandmother from Arizona have been charged with the murder of a 9-year-old girl who died from a severe lice infestation and malnutrition. Although the pair were fully aware of the severity of the young girl's illness, they both refused to take her to the hospital.
The mother and grandmother of a 9-year-old girl from Arizona have been charged with her murder after she died from a severe lice infestation 64-year-old Elizabeth Kraykovich, and 38-year-old Sandra Kraykovich, have both been charged with first-degree murder after being arrested over the child's death.
The pair were initially arrested for child abuse after emergency services attended their home in Tucson on March 22 and found the young girl unresponsive with "a large amount of bugs on her face," court documents stated.
The emergency services who found the girl, told investigators that "upon closer inspection, it was discovered that there was an enormous amount of lice in her hair".
Police said that text messages prove that the girl's mother, Sandra Kraykovich knew that her daughter was ill but never sought medical care for her.
In an interview with police, Sandra told them that her daughter suffered from anemia, vomiting, fever, headaches, and had trouble keeping her balance.
One of Sandra's older children told police that her mother had attempted to treat her 9-year-old sister's lice infestation using mouthwash.
Phone records show that Sandra texted her boyfriend on March 14 and 15, aware that her daughter needed medical attention, and on March 21, police said that Sandra texted her boyfriend saying: "OMG babe. Listen I'm in my room and my mom called me. Was asking if I could check on her to make sure she isn't dying."
Police said that even though her boyfriend told her to take her daughter to the hospital, Sandra refused.
Elizabeth Kraykovich, the grandmother, was also well aware of how bad the girl's condition was, while supposedly looking after her and her daughter's other children, she texted Sandra saying that the girl "can't go to the ER with her hair but that's left to me because you not home."
The autopsy on the young girl showed that she had died from anemia connected to an infection from lice infestation and that malnutrition also contributed to her death.
The Medical Examiner for Pima County determined that the 9-year-old's cause of death was neglect.
Sandra's two other children, 11, and 13, were placed in the custody of family members after police discovered they were also suffering from a lice infestation.
Police said that during an interview, Sandra confessed that her negligence was the cause of her youngest child's death, telling officers that "if she had sought medical care, her daughter would probably still be alive."