AN American couple, based in Spain, have avoided being imprisoned after living with the body of their dead son at home for more than a month.
Bruce and Schrell Darlene Hopkins, 41 and 40, refused to release the body of youngest son, Caleb, to Spanish authorities, several weeks after he died of an asthma attack in their rented Girona apartment.
The couple, arrested after police discovered his body in January 2016, were facing at least three years in jail, amid claims that they were guilty of “homicide with serious imprudence”.
But though Girona court agreed that the child had needed the hospital care his parents did not provide, it said there were aggravated circumstances and fined the couple 990 euros for a crime of homicide, for” less serious imprudence”.
Police, who found the body when visiting the couple’s home, described it as having “a nauseated stench”.
According to reports, the family kept a vigil next to his body, wrapped in a sheet, rather than call the authorities immediately.
Caleb is believed to have suffered the fatal asthma attack between the end of November and the beginning of December 2015, though the specific date of his death has not been confirmed.
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