“But none of us, not here, not anywhere in the world, should jump to a conclusion about the circumstances until the police have had a chance to investigate,” she added.
By then, however, many Russians had already made up their minds.
"An adoptive mother has killed a three-year-old Russian child in the state of Texas. The murder occurred at the end of January," wrote Russia’s children's rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov on a blog Monday morning, setting off the controversy.
The boy, he continued, died in his home after his adoptive mother called an ambulance for him. “According to the autopsy report, the boy had many injuries,” he continued.
But details from Texas law enforcement quickly began to complicate the story.
To start, the boy's mother told law enforcement that she had left Max playing in the yard with his younger brother and returned to find him lying on the ground, unresponsive, according to the Odessa American. And according to the local sheriff's office, the boy died in the hospital – not at home.
Moreover, there is also no autopsy report conclusively showing “many injuries,” the county medical examiner’s office says, because, so far, no autopsy report has been released at all.