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Apex child in coma; police investigate

Posted April 6, 2010

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— A 3-year-old Apex boy is in a coma at Duke University Hospital, and police have searched his family's home for any evidence of abuse, according to a search warrant.

Adam Stein was taken to WakeMed on March 19 with severe head trauma and was transferred to Duke Hospital after undergoing emergency surgery and developing complications, according to the search warrant. His parents, Philip and Michele Stein, told paramedics and police that he had fallen down the stairs earlier that day and then couldn't be awakened from a nap.

Medical experts said the boy's injuries weren't consistent with a fall down the staircase of the family's home, and police noted two previous allegations of abuse and neglect had been filed with Wake County Child Protective Services. In January, he was taken to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals with burns on his hands, and the following month, day care workers noticed he had bruises on his back and leg.

No abuse was substantiated in either incident.

The Steins adopted Adam from an orphanage in China last November, according to the search warrant.

The couple said an attorney advised them not to speak with police, and they also instructed nurses at Duke Hospital not to discuss their son's condition with investigators, according to the search warrant.

Investigators searched the Steins' home at 121 Homegate Circle and seized pictures and a phone bill.

17 Comments

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  • sushibuddy Apr 9, 2010

    To the Steins: I can't imagine what you are going through. I know you are wonderful parents and the truth will come out. I would trust you with my own and I am behind you 100%. Your family is in our prayers.

  • jhallatt Apr 6, 2010

    The Steins are not abusive. They most certainly did not adopt a child from China with the intention of harming him. As far as not talking to the police or media, they are following the advice of their lawyer, which is the only sane thing to do in a situation like this. I hope the truth does come out, because the truth is that they are loving people and parents who would never abuse a child.

  • pulstar40 Apr 6, 2010

    I know we shouldn't judge quickly, but burns AND bruises just several weeks ago? This is the third strike, and does need to be investigated to the fullest extent.

  • wildcat Apr 6, 2010

    eventually the parents will be charged with abuse. the kid has a history of "accidents",

  • FromClayton Apr 6, 2010

    well I've seen enough CSI to know you can't say the kid fell down the steps when you whacked him over the head and expect medical professionals not to know the difference... Lucky for the kid, these parents do not seem to watch CSI.

  • awomnsptofview Apr 6, 2010

    " In January, he was taken to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals with burns on his hands, and the following month, day care workers noticed he had bruises on his back and leg.

    No abuse was substantiated in either incident."

    Won der if abuse will be substantiated now?

  • wildcat Apr 6, 2010

    why are the parents and nurses of the hospital not allowed to speak to the officers about what happen to this child? what are they covering up or hiding. the the truth will come whether the parents etc. likes it or not. continue to pray for this child.

  • Mom of two Apr 6, 2010

    I just pray for this child. May God look over him and comfort him. I also pray they find out what happened and I hope there way no wrong doing. If my child fell down the stairs I would go straight to the ER. No naps with head injury. Everyone knows that.

  • Journey985 Apr 6, 2010

    Seriously, there are so many families in the world that can not have children, and that want them so badly, then you hear about adoptive parents like this and it makes me sick!! I hope for their sakes that these truly are "accidents"

  • so you dont like my opinion ok Apr 6, 2010

    Child Protective Services have a lot to answer for, their usual excuse is that they are understaffed, what does it take to bring about action, sadly tradegy, come on guys, get your act together and protect our children who have been born into homes with useless parents.

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