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Child abuse charges upped to 1st Degree Murder

Mother and grandmother charged
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Posted at 10:15 AM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 22:08:33-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Two women charged with child abuse in the death of a child are now facing first degree murder.

The original child abuse charges date to late March. They are against Sandra Kraykovich and her mother, the child’s grandmother, Elizabeth Kraykovich. Now investigators have decided the charge against both of them should be murder.

The nine year old girl died behind the walls of a gated community in the 8200 Block of Golf Links. The girl’s name has not been released.

According to court documents, after 911 was called first responders reported: “...a large amount of bugs began to cover her face. Upon closer inspection it was discovered that there was an enormous amount of lice in her hair.”

The lice may figure into why the girl did not receive medical care in time to save her.

Court reports from the original child abuse charge say the child’s mother reported the child had anemia, vomiting, fever, headaches, and had trouble keeping her balance.

Text messages police found in Sandra Kraykovich phone indicate she knew the child was seriously ill.

Investigators report texts from Sandra Kraykovich reporting the child is sick—also texts from Sandra Kraykovich’s boyfriend, and grandmother saying the child needs treatment.

The grandmother, Elizabeth Kraykovich complains she’s left to care for the girl and Sandra’s other children.

She threatens to call 911 for the child but does not, and makes what may be a reference to the head lice when she texts: “... can’t go to the ER with her hair but that’s left to me because your (sic) not home.”

Questioned by police, Sandra Kraykovich admitted: …”if she had sought medical care __________ would probably still be alive. She recognized she should have sought medical care for __________ but admitted she did not because of the lice infestation.

The girl’s autopsy says she died of anemia connected to an infection from lice infestation and that malnutrition contributed to her death.

Case documents say the child’s grandmother, Elizabeth Kraykovich, also provided much of the care. Now she is also facing first degree murder charges along with the previous child abuse charges.

Phil Villarreal is the senior real-time editor for KGUN 9. He is also a digital producer and host of "Phil on Film" seen weekly on Good Morning Tucson, Phil moved to KGUN after 17 years with the Arizona Daily Star. He is married and has four children. Share your story ideas and important issues with Phil by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.