In a gruesome scene straight from a nightmare, a little girl’s life was brutally cut short, her body discovered besieged by a horrific lice infestation – a cruel testament to the shocking neglect at the hands of those meant to protect her.
As the the paramedics described it, they were confronted with a gruesome scene that seemed straight out of a horror film. The lifeless body of a 9-year-old girl was before them, her face swarming with lice in a horrifying display that surpassed any infestation they had ever witnessed.
As the putrid stench filled the room, they had to muster all their strength to carry on with their daunting task. Despite their valiant efforts and the resources of modern medicine at their disposal, they couldn’t avert the tragedy – the young victim of horrific neglect and abuse at the hands of her own mother and grandmother was lost.
We have decided to withhold the child’s name, out of respect for her memory. The disturbing incidents leading to her untimely demise transpired in Arizona. In a glimmer of justice amidst the tragedy, her 38-year-old mother, Sandra Kraykovich, and 64-year-old grandmother, Elizabeth Kraykovich, have been apprehended and charged with the heinous crime of first-degree murder.
Their arrest on March 22, 2022, was the culmination of their prolonged and cruel neglect, which was brought to light when emergency services responded to an urgent call. They discovered the child unresponsive, her face teeming with insects – an ominous sight revealed in court documents. On closer examination, paramedics realized that the little girl’s hair was infested with lice.
Authorities have since discovered damning evidence against the mother, indicating her knowledge of the situation and her alarming indifference towards it. Text messages between Sandra and her boyfriend reveal that despite being aware of the escalating lice infestation, she did not take necessary measures such as a simple visit to the clinic or purchasing a lice removal kit from the pharmacy.
A day before the tragic discovery of the girl’s lifeless body, Sandra sent a chilling message to her boyfriend: “OMG, babe. Listen, I’m in my room, and my mom called me. (redacted) was asking if I could check on her to make sure she isn’t dying.” In response to her boyfriend’s plea to rush the child to the hospital, Sandra dismissively downplayed the severity of the situation.
Elizabeth, the child’s grandmother, was also aware of the dire state of affairs but was paralysed by her inability to address it. Tasked with looking after Sandra’s other children, she felt ill-equipped to tackle the lice problem. She hinted at the predicament in a text to Sandra, expressing her inability to take the girl to the emergency room given her infested hair condition.
Grandma texted the girl’s mother, “can’t go to the E.R. with her hair, but that’s left to me because you not home.”
The autopsy report is a stark testament to the negligence the child suffered. The cause of her death was anemia, resulting from the lice infection, compounded by malnutrition. The Pima County Medical Examiner unambiguously attributed her death to neglect, leading to the first-degree murder charges against both women.
Following these tragic events, Sandra’s other children were placed under protective custody, with investigations revealing that they too were victims of lice infestations. This entire ordeal has left Sandra steeped in regret, as she confessed to the police in an affidavit, “if she had sought medical care, (her daughter) would probably still be alive.” This story is a shocking reminder of the immense damage that can be caused by the neglect and abuse of children.