Zachary Higier (Nikita Khoryakov)

2-year-old boy adpted from Orenburg Russia, died of severe head trauma. Adoptive mother Natalia Higier, stated that he had fallen out of his crib or hit his head on the floor. She later admitted to tossing him into the air and he hit his head on the coffee table. Zachary sustained a bilateral skull fracture, strokes, brain swelling, and detached retinas. Natalia pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail with 18 months balance of sentence suspended for 4 years.

The agency failed to note that Natalia Higier, a Latvian native, took out a restraining order against her husband in 1995, but dropped it a day later. Her husband, Louis, had also taken out a restraining order against his wife in the past.
Date: 2002-08-15
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Homestudy

Persons: Laura Nemeyer

Facilitators

Placement

Location

Braintree, Massachusetts
United States
See map: Google Maps
DocumentDatesort icon
TFR promises to punish those responsible for the deaths of Americans orphans from Russia2013-02-21
Child Maltreatment, Child Abuse Fatalities Among Internationally Adopted Children2007-11-01
Braintree women to spend year behind bars in death of adopted son 2004-09-02
Mom gets house arrest for killing baby2004-09-01
Mom Sentenced In Adopted Son's Death2004-08-31
Adoptee deaths rare, experts say 12 Russian cases troubling, puzzling2004-05-21
Mom arraigned in adopted son's death2002-09-07
Mom indicted for fatal beating2002-09-06
Obituary - Zachary Higier2002-08-23
Questions surround tragic adoption2002-08-22
News in Brief; Woman's bail stands in tot's death2002-08-21
AUTOPSY FINDS TRAUMA TO HEAD KILLED BRAINTREE BOY2002-08-17
State probing adoption of dead toddler2002-08-17
Mom charged in tot's death will ask court to reduce bail2002-08-17
WOMAN ARRAIGNED IN DEATH OF SON, 2; PROSECUTOR SAYS SHE CARED MORE FOR DOG 2002-08-16
Mother Nabbed in Tot’s Death2002-08-16
Mom called unconcerned about son2002-08-16
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