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Parents charged in teen's death

UPDATE 2:35 P.M.

Police on Wednesday identified a man and woman charged in the death of their 15-year-old son.

Rodica Radita, 51, and Emil Marian Radita, 62, of Calgary have been charged with first-degree murder.

Police earlier said their son, Alexandru Radita, died of a bacterial infection stemming from neglect and starvation due to Type 1 diabetes.

They allege his parents did not provide him with proper medical treatment and, when his health declined, confined him to his room.

The couple, at the urging of friends, called an ambulance for the teen last May, said police. When officers arrived at the home, the boy was dead.

Officers wouldn't provide details of the boy's condition when he was discovered, but described it as "extreme."

They said Alexandru had been diagnosed with diabetes several years earlier, when the family lived in British Columbia, and his parents had been taught how to treat him with insulin.

The parents have seven other children, most who are adults, and police said there's no evidence they were neglected.

Alexandru was being home-schooled and the family had little interaction with the community, police said.

Dr. Jan Hux, chief science officer at the Canadian Diabetes Association, said people with Type 1 diabetes don't produce insulin on their own and are completely dependent on injections.

If they don't take insulin, "the nutritional benefit of food is lost," said Hux. "The person starves even though they may be eating."

She said some people's bodies may try to make other kinds of fuel, but that can produce harmful byproducts. Sugars trapped in the bloodstream can also lead to dehydration and kidney failure.

People also become more susceptible to infections and less capable of fighting them, the doctor said.

"A person who is malnourished, over time, will experience skin breakdown and loss of muscle tone, which may further elevate the risk of getting infection. These conditions, if untreated, may lead to death."


ORIGINAL STORY 7:30 A.M. 

Two former B.C. residents are facing murder charges after their 15-year-old son was found dead inside their Calgary home.

Alexandru Radita’s emaciated body was discovered the morning of May 7, 2013. An autopsy revealed the home-school teenager died of starvation, neglect and untreated Type 1 diabetes.

“This boy has suffered from long-term neglect to the point that he was unable to seek medical attention on his own,” Calgary Police Staff Sgt. Grant Miller said. “It’s [his parents’] responsibility to provide that for him.”

Radita’s condition was so bad the Calgary Police Service offered support and counselling to first responders and officers who saw him.

B.C. Mounties confirm the family was investigated once before, while living in Surrey.

Officers were called by the Ministry of Children and Families to probe potential neglect at their home in 2003. Radita was seized and placed in a foster home, but a judge later ordered that he be returned.

No charges were laid.

Calgary police said they haven’t determined why the teenager was left untreated but don’t believe it has to do with his parents’ religious beliefs. The couple has seven other children, all of whom are believed to have been better cared for.

Miller said authorities are pursuing first-degree murder charges as opposed to lesser counts of failure to provide necessities of life due to the length of time Radita suffered.

“This boy was in a very difficult position over an extended period of time,” he said. “The details are extreme and thus the extreme charge.”

The boy’s parents were arrested on Tuesday. Their names will not be released unless charges are approved.

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