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Two months after her death, Milwaukee teen remains in morgue

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Amina Krouser died in December, but the 14-year-old’s body is still in the Milwaukee County morgue. The teenager’s mother is fighting with her father over if she should be buried or cremated. The problem is the girl’s mom is charged in her death.

The Milwaukee Medical Examiners Officer said if a decision can’t be made about what to do with the girl’s body they’ll be forced to file for county burial, which means Amina could be buried in an unmarked grave with no service.

Amina died in the hospital in early December, her father was there. He lives in San Antonio but regretfully hasn’t seen his child in 10 years.

“Just lying there not moving,” Michael Krouser said. “I wanted to make her smile. I was trying to wake her up, ‘can you hear me?’ but nothing.”

Azlyza Ababneh has been charged with Child Neglect Resulting in Death. According to the criminal complaint, the 14-year-old girl's mother, Ababneh, told police that her daughter started feeling sick and was walking slowly, wasn't talking normally, and was slow to respond. Ababneh told police that her daughter urinated in her pants and she disciplined her by striking her with her hand and with a long round stick. She took her daughter to the hospital three days later when she fell unconscious.

On December 3, Children's Hospital needed consent from Ababneh to conduct emergency surgery on the Amina who had an infection in her brain. Ababneh was informed that the best chance for her daughter to survive was brain surgery. Ababneh denied the surgery and when told that her daughter may die without it, she said, "I've already lost her."

Emergency surgery was conducted to remove the infection from the brain but the victim later died. According to the criminal complaint, medical treatment should have been sought well before it was.

Milwaukee County Deputy District Attorney Matthew Torbenson said when a parent is charged with a homicide in their child's death, the parent loses the right to decide what happens to their child’s remains. But Ababneh is charged with Child Neglect Resulting in Death, not a homicide.

“That statue does not cover the offense of Child Neglect Resulting in Death, it does not cover the offense of Physical Abuse of a Child Repeated Action Resulting in Death so those are two holes in the law,” Matthew Torbenson.

Executive Director of Kids Matter Susan Conwell said the organization is working with Amina's family to appoint a special administrator that would make a decision in court on behalf of Amina.

“No one should be waiting two months in the morgue for something to happen,” Susan Conwell

They said that people have been reaching out to their organization offering to give the family money for a service.

“The least we can do is give her dignity in death,” Conwell.

Kids Matter said they’re heading to court Friday. The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office said because of this case they hope lawmakers will amend the legislation to include neglect resulting in death charges along with homicide.

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