CALGARY — The first police officer to arrive at the family home of a diabetic teenager in Calgary says the boy looked like a skeleton and was already dead.
Const. Larry Pugliese was testifying Wednesday at the first-degree murder trial of Emil and Rodica Radita. Their son, Alexandru, was found dead by emergency workers in May 2013.
Court has heard that the 15-year-old weighed just 37 pounds at the time.
Died from starvation, untreated diabetes
An autopsy determined the boy died from complications due to starvation and untreated diabetes.
He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was three while the family lived in British Columbia.
Pugliese testified that emergency medical personnel were attending to the boy when the officer first arrived.
"It was like a skeleton."
"The boy was extremely thin and I thought at the time maybe 20 pounds. His shirt was off and he had ribs protruding from his body — also lesions on his neck,'' said Pugliese.
"You could pretty much see bones. It was like a skeleton. When I looked at the boy my first instinct is he's dead.''
Pugliese said he spoke to Emil, the boy's father, who confirmed the teen had been diagnosed with diabetes and there was insulin in the refrigerator.
Mother said he had the flu
But the officer said Rodica, the boy's mother, told him Alexandru simply had the flu.
She later told Shauna Mitchell, a registered nurse who is an investigator for the Office of the Medical Examiner, that her son did indeed have diabetes.
"Rodica said ... they did diagnose him and he is a diabetic and does take insulin but she doesn't believe he's a diabetic but she was giving it to him anyways,'' said Pugliese.
The officer testified that Rodica said she checked Alexandru's pulse during the day and he seemed fine.
Mitchell responded by saying there is no way the boy was alive at that time, he said.
"You could count every rib."
"Shauna said there was no way that Alexandru could be alive and her assessment he was 12 to 36 hours deceased.''
Mitchell testified that she was shocked when she saw the boy's body.
"He basically looked like a skeleton with skin,'' she said.
"His skull was very, very bony. You could count every rib. You could see every rib. His arms were extremely skinny as were his legs. He had open and dried lesions all over his body.''
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