Coroner Ruled Insulin Death a Homicide

(Apr. 26) -- The death of an 11-year-old diabetic has been ruled a homicide by the coroner's office because of medical neglect. Charges have not been filed against Ariel Botzet's mother. But the thought that she could be charged has stuck fear into the hearts of other parents of diabetic kids.

11-year-old Ariel Botzet and Zach Foucault never met face-to-face. But Ariel did have something in common with Zach -- diabetes. Unlike Ariel, Zach has been living with diabetes for 27 years. The recent coroner's ruling of Ariel's death as a homicide, raises questions.

Zach Foucalt disagrees with coroner. "To have a person die from diabetes is not unusual. It is expected and it is foreseen and it can happen under numerous circumstances so the opinion is against that of the coroner," he said.

Ariel's mother isn't facing charges and Zach hopes the District Attorney's office is lenient. "No matter what parents do, their children still can die. And so if in fact she is charged and she is guilty of those charges, it sets up a precedent throughout the United States."

Child Protective Services investigated neglect allegations twice, but found nothing wrong.

Susan Klein-Rothschild, Director of the Clark County Department of Family Services, said, "We spoke with the child, we spoke with the mother, we had a separate conversation with the father and we met and had a conversation with the school nurse on a number of occasions."

But Ariel's death has diabetics speaking out against possible charges and wanting more answers.

Zach Foucalt: "I think that people really need to dig into this case and find out what that history was like and look at it very seriously."

CPS is working to find out what went wrong in this investigation.

Susan Klein-Rothschild: "The question is what happened between the times we were involved and the time this child died and what can we do to make sure this doesn't happen again."

Two other neglect complaints were filed against Ariel's family in 1994 and 1999, but were determined by CPS to be unsubstantiated.

Ariel's father was seeking full custody of his daughter and was scheduled to get to court. That hearing, however, was set for two weeks after Ariel died.


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