Killer Nanny: what happened to Matthew Eappen's parents?

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  • Louise Woodward case
    English criminal

Channel 4's new three-part documentary, The Killer Nanny: Did She Do It?, looks at the murder trial of Louise Woodward following the death of eight-month-old Matthew Eappen in Massachusetts, United States in 1997.

MORE: Where is 'Killer Nanny' Louise Woodward now?

While viewers are learning more about former au pair Louise over the course of the documentary, some may be curious to know what happened to Matthew's parents, Deborah and Sunil Eappen.

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What happened to Matthew Eappen's parents?

Deborah and Sunil Eappen, a part-time ophthalmologist and anaesthetist, were devastated after Matthew's death and went on to set up the Matty Eappen Foundation at the Boston Children's Hospital.

At the time of establishing the foundation, the couple wrote in a statement: "This foundation was established in his memory to improve the safety and welfare of children by educating the public about the dangers of shaking a child and to provide assistance to victims and their families."

After Louise Woodward returned home having served her reduced conviction of involuntary manslaughter, Deborah and Sunil filed a civil lawsuit to prevent Louise from earning any profits from selling her story.

MORE: The Killer Nanny: viewers divided over Louise Woodward verdict

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The 19-year-old lost the lawsuit by default as her legal costs were no longer covered by the au pair agency.

deborah-eappen
deborah-eappen

Matthew's parents filed a civil lawsuit after the trial

At the time, the couple's lawyer issued a statement saying the pair had "achieved their goal" in ensuring that Louise did not profit from the case. Lawyer Frederic Ellis said: "The civil suit was able to accomplish what the criminal justice system failed to."

Speaking to Good Morning America in 2007, Deborah said: "I feel like a positive from this is to be able to say to our kids, 'Look, when something goes really wrong, we are able to make a difference by trying to make something really right.'"

Deborah and Sunil have three other children, Brendan, Kevin and Elisabeth and are also still practising medicine, according to The Sun - Sunil as an anesthesiologist in Boston, Massachusetts and Deborah as an ophthalmologist in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

The three-part series continues on Channel 4 on Monday 10 January at 9pm and concludes the following evening at the same time.

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