FULTON, NY – The attorney for the Maxwell family says while his clients continue to be cooperative with police in the investigation into the death of 11-year-old Erin Maxwell, there has been little reciprocation.
The child died during the early morning hours of Aug. 30 from injuries she sustained in her home Aug. 29. Police continue to investigate her death as a homicide. More than a month after her death, no arrests have been made in the case.
Salvatore Lanza, who represents ErinÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s biological father, Lindsey Maxwell; step-mother, Lynn Maxwell; and step-brother, Alan Jones; said Monday that he has not been able to retrieve information from police about the investigation.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œNo one is telling me anything,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â he said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThey are keeping very mum on this case. (Police) have refused to release my clientsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ statementsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ or the results of the autopsy. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re cooperating but they refuseÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ everything is very secretive.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Last week, Lanza said the New York State Police requested DNA samples from both Lindsey and Lynn Maxwell Oct. 1.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIn keeping with their promise to cooperate with the law enforcement officials in their ongoing investigation, both Lindsey and Lynn agreed to the request of the New York State Police,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Lanza said in a statement that he released to the press Friday.
Both Lindsey and Lynn Maxwell provided DNA samples that day without objection, he said. During a press conference Sept. 26, Lanza pointed out that Jones submitted his DNA when the case first began.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWhy this wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t done weeks ago is beyond me,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Lanza said Monday.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI think whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s happening is they have DNA samples that they have been able to acquire from the autopsy and that DNA sample does not match with Alan JonesÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ DNA,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Lanza said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIf they had DNA samples that matched, heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d be arrested by now.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Lanza also pointed out Friday that law enforcement officers are conducting an investigation in the state of Nevada in this case. He said Erin stayed with her fatherÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s family in that state through the summer and returned Aug. 11.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe Maxwell family has been informed that their relatives are being questioned by police authorities at this time,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Lanza said.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThey looked at (Lindsey MaxwellÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s) brother-in-law,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Lanza said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œHis sister has to talk to them today (Monday). WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll see what transpires there.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Lanza stressed that the family maintains ErinÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s death was a tragic accident.
Last week, the Department of Social Services completed its report on several child protective investigations that were conducted at the Maxwell home since 2003. Within that report, DSS Commissioner Fran Lanigan pointed out that an investigation is ongoing, as well.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œRealistically, where is that investigation going to go? If Erin was alive, they could take her out of the household and put her in foster care,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Lanza said.
Instead, Lanza said he believes that the current investigation is the result of public pressure, or pressure from the Oswego County Legislature, to bring action against his clients in family court because of the visibility in the case.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThis doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t sit well with us,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â he said.
Lanza pointed out that the family was cooperative with all past DSS investigations and each was closed.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œDSS (said) the house had an odor and that it had no negative impact on Erin Maxwell,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Lanza said. He noted that the family provided for Erin, despite rejecting offers for things like food stamps from the county.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe Maxwells are proud people,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â he said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThey are private people. They make due with what they live on each year, which isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t much.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThere are many houses IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve seen in Oswego County, in every township, that perhaps DSS ought to visit,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Lanza said, noting things like trash and debris that can be seen from the roadway at many homes.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThis is just how some people live,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â he added.
Lanza also referenced a report that the Maxwells were attempting to purchase additional property earlier this year.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIt wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t Lynn,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Lanza said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œLindsey Maxwell made an inquiry to Frank PitcherÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s wife. They were just talking and he asked a question. That kind of thing happens all the time. They obviously donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have the money to pay for more property. No contract was ever signed. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ They were just talking.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Overall, Lanza said his clients have been treated unfairly by the public, the press and the police.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œPeople shouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t rush to judgment,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Lanza said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve seen a lot of that. People are making foolish statements without having all of the facts of the case.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â