Boy adopted last month beaten to death

Date: 2003-12-22

Boy adopted last month beaten to death

Associated Press, various newspapers across the U.S.A. and Canada, Monday, December 22, 2003

SCHAUMBURG , Illinois (AP) --A 6-year-old boy adopted from Russia only last month was beaten to death, and police charged his adoptive mother with murder.

Irma Pavlis admitted that she struck her son, Alex, on several occasions, police Lt. Dennis Carroll said.

Carroll said Pavlis, 32, called 911 Thursday afternoon to report that the boy was not breathing. He died Friday evening at Loyola University MedicalCenter in Maywood . The cause of death was blunt head trauma, the Cook County medical examiner's office said.

Authorities said Pavlis and her husband, Dino Pavlis, adopted Alex and a 5-year-old girl in Russia early last month. The girl, who apparently was unharmed, was placed in the custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Department spokesman Jill Manuel said the couple had arranged the adoptions privately, but did go to an agency to obtain the background study required in international adoptions. The study found no criminal background or history of child abuse, Manuel said.

Police said Dino Pavlis was at work at the time the child was injured and was not involved.

His employer, Grant DeNormandie, said the couple had been excited about the adoptions and had gone to Russiathree times to complete the process.

"This is something they've been looking forward to for a year," DeNormandie said. "Dino's wife spent over a year learning Russian so she could try and talk to them."

The children had no known behavioral problems, DeNormandie said.

Irma Pavlis remained in police custody awaiting a bond hearing Monday.

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