- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 17, 2005

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — State investigators found no evidence that Terri Schiavo had been abused or exploited by either side of her family, according to documents released by the state’s Department of Children and Families.

The agency investigated 89 complaints dating back to 2001, when Mrs. Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed for the first time and the legal battle surrounding her plight intensified.

The complaints said the brain-damaged Florida woman was being mistreated by her husband and her parents for financial gain. One complaint said that Mrs. Schiavo’s parents were selling videos of her through a Web site; another said Mrs. Schiavo’s husband wasn’t spending money intended for her rehabilitation.

But investigators said they found no evidence that either her husband or parents were exploiting her, and often noted in their records that they found Mrs. Schiavo well cared for on their visits to her Pinellas Park hospice. The agency released the records Friday under court order.

Mrs. Schiavo, 41, died last month after her feeding tube was removed for the third time, ending a bitter court battle between her husband, Michael Schiavo, and parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, over whether she would have wanted to live in a vegetative state.

The repeated allegations of abuse were based partly on bone scans showing Mrs. Schiavo suffered fractures and statements she made to family and friends that she was unhappy in her marriage.

Mr. Schiavo has denied harming his wife. His lawyer said the fractures resulted from osteoporosis caused by the woman’s years of immobility and complications of her medication.

Mr. Schindler declined to comment on the release of the DCF documents. An attorney for Mr. Schiavo did not immediately return calls.

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