Olga Savinova, the head of the local adoption center, said the Hilts, a married couple from the U.S., adopted Nina Viktoria Bazhenova from Orphanage No.1, in January 2002 when she was 15 months old. The couple was described positively in the adoption papers and had already adopted a girl from Ukraine.
Savinova said the adoptive parents had sent reports with photographs, in which the girl looked well, 6 months and 12 months following the adoption.
"The cruel beating of the child, ensuing in [her] death, seems absurd and unexplainable. This tragedy shocked us," she said.
The girl's adoptive mother, Peggy Sue Hilt, was arrested the day following Bazhenova's death on suspicion of second-degree murder.