Local News

Mother of comatose Apex boy charged with abuse

Posted April 9, 2010

— An Apex woman was charged Friday with felony child abuse in connection with an incident last month that left her 3-year-old adopted son in a coma.

Michele Stein, 39, of 121 Homegate Circle, was being held under a $200,000 bond.

Adam Stein was taken to WakeMed on March 19 with severe head trauma and was transferred to Duke University Hospital after undergoing emergency surgery and developing complications, according to court documents. His parents 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, although  abuse wasn't substantiated in either incident.

The Steins adopted Adam from an orphanage in China last November, according to court documents.

Investigators searched the Steins' home last month and seized pictures and a phone bill.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Shaking My Head In Amusement Apr 9, 2010

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck........cocker_mom

    Then it's a cow? :-) Seriously, anyone who is standing up for her in disbelief, please know, it CAN happen by those who you think would NEVER do it. I have a friend in jail for molesting a child. NEVER in my LIFE would I EVER thought he'd do that to a 5yr old who trusted him as he was a close family friend to her family. The Raleigh FF arrested a few weeks ago for soliciting a minor. MANY who knew him were shocked. He's a public servant, a really good friend, nobody EVER thought he'd do such.... guess police evidence says otherwise. Just know... all that glitters isn't gold.

  • ajh8278 Apr 9, 2010

    If you are jumping to conclusions and making uninformed accusations, you must remember that Michele is innocent until proven guilty. I respect our justice system and its duty to always be suspicious, but the court will eventually find that Michele is a compassionate person incapable of hurting a child. Ruruounirisu is right in the fact that the media is presenting a very skewed perception of this story with the goal of incensing you people, and you are falling right into their laps. Some of the most incriminating information in this article is simply incorrect, and those misprints will be addressed at a later date, I'm sure. To address your statement cocker_mom, as a more informed party, I can tell you that the TRUE events do not at all look like a duck, walk like a duck, or quack like a duck.

  • cocker_mom Apr 9, 2010

    rurounirisu - I am sorry that you feel that you have to protect your friend.

    However - the police have worked with CPS, and the doctors at Duke and felt confident that they had enough evidence to arrest and get a conviction - as they are working with the DA too.

    So - these parties know more than we do - and likely - more than you do - and they've arrested her.

    The history of CPS being called to that house is VERY troubling. I managed to live my whole life without being under the scrutiny of the authorities - many others have too.

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck........

  • rurounirisu Apr 9, 2010

    The media has not correctly represented the Steins situation at all, several of the details of this case have been reported incorrectly. Clickclackity2, I find your post to be incredibly demeaning towards me for sticking up for someone I have known for several years, and I find it pretty troubling that you would make assumptions about people you don't know. I am praying for Adam and hoping that he recovers soon.

  • clickclackity2 Apr 9, 2010


    The news and observer has even more hideous details on these MONSTERS of parents! Good parents? Not AT ALL! And I am DISGUSTED with the boys REPETITIVE injuries on MULTIPLE occasions, not some comments on the blog. Words dont give kids brain injuries or scald them with HOT water. This is what speaks for the Steins. Arrest them both!

  • rurounirisu Apr 9, 2010

    Honestly, I'm disgusted with all the assumptions being made about Michele. If any of you knew her, you would know that she would never abuse a child! The Steins are a kind and loving family. Please try and imagine what they must be going through. Your accusatory comments only make the situation even more difficult for the Stein's family and friends. Please reserve judgement, for assumptions are hurtful and foolish.

  • clickclackity2 Apr 9, 2010

    She should have been charged. And wow, he fell down the steps with a brain injury and they let him take a nap? I bet. The father should be charged too.

  • Cristoforo Apr 9, 2010

    CCPC is a joke! This woman should be tried, convicted and given a life sentence.
    Definitely BAD GENE POOL!

  • BSW2MSW Apr 9, 2010

    "When will the state start charging the County Child Protective Services for NOT doing their job?"

    Do you have any idea all of the components that are involved in CPS? It isn't just an open and shut case of this kid is being abused or this kid is being neglected. There are so many laws and by-laws that have to be followed that come from the STATE! If you don't think that CPS is doing their jobs, then pay attention when elections roll around. Your politicians are the ones deciding all of these laws that CPS has to follow. Yes, it is frustrating to see these cases, but it is just as frustrating for those workers who are involved in these cases who have the child's best interest at heart, because their hands are tied by the laws NC has created. You have no idea just how hard it is to substantiate a neglect or abuse case...

  • Tiffany2007 Apr 9, 2010

    When will the state start charging the County Child Protective Services for NOT doing their job?