MILWAUKEE — The body of a 14-year-old girl remains in the Milwaukee County morgue nearly two months after she died because of a dispute between her mother, who is charged in her death, and her father in Texas.
Amina Krouser’s mother, Azlyza Ababneh, is charged with abusing and neglecting her daughter, resulting in her death. She’s opposed to a request by the girl’s father, Michael Krouser, to have his daughter’s body cremated and sent to him in San Antonio, Texas.
Milwaukee County prosecutor Matthew Torbenson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that because Ababneh is not charged with homicide, she retains the right to determine how her daughter’s remains should be handled. Amina Krouser died Dec. 10.
“This case presents a hole in the law,” Torbenson said.
The medical examiner’s office said if a decision cannot be made on how to handle the body, the girl will likely be buried in an unmarked grave.
Ababneh, who is in jail, is charged with child neglect resulting in death, child abuse-intentionally causing harm and three counts of misdemeanor child neglect. Her defense attorney has entered not-guilty pleas on Ababneh’s behalf. Her jury trial is scheduled in June.
According to a criminal complaint, Amina Krouser and her two siblings lived with their mother in a house with no heat or running water. The teen became ill with cold-like symptoms Nov. 26, and her condition worsened over the next four days. She eventually did not know her name and lost control of her bladder.
Ababneh believed her daughter was being lazy and beat her with a belt and with a plastic pipe, according to the complaint and the medical examiner’s report.
The girl was taken to a hospital in early December. The infection had spread to her brain and doctors wanted to perform emergency surgery, but Ababneh refused to give them permission, the complaint said. Doctors operated anyway but were unable to save the teen.
Kids Matter Inc., a Milwaukee-based child advocacy agency, has been asked to take up Amina Krouser’s case.
“Amina suffered enough in life,” said Susan Conwell, the organization’s executive director. “As a community, we need to do our best to preserve her dignity in death.”
A probate hearing is scheduled Friday on appointing a special administrator to make a decision about releasing the girl’s body.
Corrects spelling of prosecutor’s last name to Torbenson.
Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com