A vegan couple has been arrested after their toddler passed away due to malnourishment because they fed him nothing but raw fruits and vegetables.
30-year-old Ryan O’Leary and 35-year-old Sheila O’Leary were charged with child neglect and manslaughter after their 18-month-old starved baby had died.
According to the reports, the toddler weighed just 17 pounds at the time of his passing, the weight that is deemed appropriate for a 7-month-old.
The authorities picked up the case after paramedics were called to the family house because the baby boy had stopped breathing. After arriving at their home, the paramedics tended to the baby in vain and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
As an autopsy revealed, the 17-month-old has passed away due to multiple conditions including dehydration, starvation, and a liver disorder.
In addition, the boy’s siblings, aged 3 and 5, also appeared severely malnourished and tiny considering their age. The other child, 11, appeared to be healthier which could be due to the fact that she’s from Sheila’s previous relationship and that she often stays with her biological father.
According to the reports, the couple’s children were all home-schooled and fed a strict diet consisting of nothing but raw fruits and vegetables.
After the incident, Sheila and Ryan were charged with manslaughter whereas their kids were taken in by the Child Services. As for the 11-year-old girl, she went to live with her biological dad.
During the court hearing, prosecutor John Musca took a strike at the couple saying the toddler was “perfectly healthy” at birth and claiming his death was caused by intentional malnourishment.
Defending the couple, their defense lawyer argued that the boy had been ill for several months prior to his passing.
Following the death of their son, the parents have been awaiting trial and were placed on $250,000 bond.
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