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Parents accused of child abuse following death of infant twin girl born premature
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Parents accused of child abuse following death of infant twin girl born premature

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Suspects

Kassandra and David Kutrina

Two young Louisville parents face felony child abuse charges after investigators say they neglected their infant twin girls born prematurely, according to court documents.

David and Kassandra Krutina's twins were born Feb. 19 at 27 weeks of pregnancy, Cass County Sheriff's Sgt. Douglas Durkan said in an affidavit for their arrests.

Daughter Samantha weighed 2 pounds, 3 ounces, and Charlotte weighed 2 pounds, 5 ounces, at birth, the affidavit said.

They remained in the neonatal intensive care unit at CHI Bergan Mercy in Omaha until they had gained more than two pounds and were discharged April 28, Durkan said.

But on Sept. 1, a hospital social worker called the Cass County Sheriff's Office after the Krutinas brought the girls into Children's Hospital in Omaha shortly before 8 p.m., the sergeant said.

The 6-month-old girls appeared malnourished, and Samantha was unresponsive, the affidavit said.

Hospital staff performed CPR on her as her sister was examined in the emergency room, but Samantha died at 11 p.m.

The day she died, Samantha weighed less than when she was discharged from the ICU, Durkan said.

Hospital staff reported concerns about the behavior of the 23-year-old father and 20-year-old mother that night, the affidavit said.

"Prior to Samantha passing, the parents wanted to go home because they were tired and hungry and they had to let their dogs out," Durkan said. "The parents left the hospital only a short time (20 minutes) after Samantha passing."

An autopsy determined she died of a septic bacterial infection caused by malnourishment, the affidavit said.

Charlotte weighed about five ounces more than she had when she was discharged from the ICU four months earlier, the sergeant said.

A pediatric expert on child abuse contacted by investigators said there wasn't any medical explanation for the lack of weight gain by the twins, the affidavit said.

In Samantha's case, her malnourished body couldn't regulate temperature and thus support her immune system, leading to the fatal infection, the doctor told investigators.

Medical records showed that after the babies were discharged in April they were only taken to their doctor once, two days later, Durkan said.

David Krutina told investigators they had not been taking the children to their checkups because of an insurance coverage issue.

The Krutinas had insurance offered through David Krutina's employer in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

That plan covered birth and the girls' care in the ICU but didn't cover appointments after the twins were discharged.

Kassandra Krutina told investigators she fed the girls about every three hours.

Attorneys for the Krutinas didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Charlotte has been placed with a relative, gained an appropriate amount of weight and is being seen by a doctor on a weekly basis.

"Charlotte is thriving so well now that others are taking care of her," Durkan said in the affidavit. "It proves that something was not being done from April through September."

The Krutinas have two other children, ages 5 and 1½.

David and Kassandra Krutina each face one count of child abuse resulting in death, negligently, and child abuse negligently causing serious bodily injury.

Both were arrested on warrants and appeared in Cass County Court on Friday, where a judge set their bonds each at $10,000.

If convicted, each faces up to 23 years in prison.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.

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