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Mar 30, 2007

Awful Crime Alleged In Massachusetts

From the Associated Press:

Parents accused of killing their 4-year-old daughter with an overdose of prescription drugs had concocted symptoms of mental illnesses to qualify the girl for government benefits, a prosecutor said Tuesday. Michael and Carolyn Riley pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges Tuesday and were ordered to remain in custody without bail.

The Rileys' applications for Supplemental Security Income for their daughter, Rebecca, were twice rejected after government doctors examined her and found no evidence to back the parents' claims of bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, Assistant District Attorney Frank Middleton said. ...

Rebecca's older siblings, now ages 11 and 6, already had gone to the psychiatrist, Dr. Kayoko Kifuji, and were diagnosed with the same disorders and were receiving Supplemental Security Income, the program administered by the Social Security Administration for disabled children.

Middleton said Carolyn Riley told Kifuji that Rebecca had "mood swings" and was "driving me crazy." Kifuji diagnosed her with bipolar disorder at age 3.

Carolyn Riley "continued to feed Dr. Kifuji fabricated symptoms," Middleton said. He said Rebecca's teachers, a school nurse, mental health therapist and neighbors and adults who lived with the Rileys all told a grand jury that "Rebecca showed none of these behaviors."

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