UPDATE: Tucson police investigating suspicious death of 9-year-old
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tucson police are investigating the recent death of a 9-year-old child.
The TPD said officers were called to the scene early Tuesday, March 22, by Tucson Fire after they responded to an unresponsive child at an apartment complex in the 8200 block of East Golf Links Road.
Despite life-saving efforts, the 9-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.
While on scene, officers noted concerns regarding living conditions and child welfare.
Detectives from the Child Physical Abuse Unit conducted an investigation. After interviews, detectives charged the mother and grandmother in the home with child abuse, a Class 2 felony.
The mother is 38-year-old Sandra Kraykovich.
According to police records, the mother called 911 on March 22 due to her child being unresponsive. After officials pronounced the child dead, “large amount of bugs began to cover her face”. There was “enormous amounts of lice in her hair”.
An older sibling told investigators that mouthwash had been used to try to treat the lice.
Sandra Kraykovich said her child suffered from anemia and had been sick since Tuesday, March 15. The child had been vomiting, along with having a fever, headache, difficulty breathing and balance issues.
The mother said she had considered taking her child to the emergency room, but decided against it when she returned home and found her child sleeping.
When police checked the mother’s phone, she had messaged her boyfriend on March 14 and March 15 saying she needed to take her daughter to the emergency room.
On March 21, Sandra Kraykovich sent another message to her boyfriend that read, “OMG babe. Listen I’m in my room and my mom was called me. (Name redacted) was asking if I could check on her to make sure she isn’t dying.”
The boyfriend urged the mother to take the child to the emergency room, but she didn’t.
Elizabeth Kraykovich, the child’s grandmother, messaged Sandra Kraykovich, her daughter, earlier that the child “can’t go to the ER with her hair but that’s left up to me cause your not home.” The grandmother, who is retired and cares for the children when their mother is at work.
Other messages indicated the child was also sick on March 8, two weeks before her death. Elizabeth Kraykovich messaged her daughter, complaining the other kids won’t help and accusing her daughter of being more interested in doing things with her boyfriend than taking care of her sick child.
Investigators said the home was “dirty” and in a “general state of disarray.” Sandra Kraykovich told investigators that she knows, if she had gotten her daughter medical care, she would still be alive. She told them she should have gotten help, but didn’t because of the lice infestation.
Sandra Kraykovich is being held on a $50,000 bond in the Pima County Jail.
The grandmother also said the child was not feeling well and on Monday, March 21, said she was out of breath and her throat hurt. The child was given ibuprofen. She was in court on the morning of Friday, March 25, and was released to pre-trial services. She is due back in court on April 4.
Two older siblings were in the home and but have since been removed. They were involved in the care of their younger sister, and they also had lice.
Tucson police said the child abuse charge is not related to the child’s death at this time, and that possible charges related to the child’s death will be determined after all reports and the autopsy results have been reviewed.
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