An 18-month-old toddler starved to death after his parents fed him only raw fruits and vegetables, cops tell.
Ryan and Sheila O’Leary, from Florida, are bearing charges of manslaughter and child neglect after they turned themselves into Cape Coral Police following the boy’s death.
35-year-old Sheila O’Leary contacted emergency services on September 27 when she found her son unresponsively and cold.
She informed cops that she had tried to provide mother’s milk the 18-month-old the previous night and saw his breathing was shallow but had fallen asleep with her husband rather than alert specialists.
Paramedics tried to resuscitate the tiny boy but he was declared dead at the scene.
Police then found the couple’s other children -aged just 3 and 5 – were showing signs of extreme malnutrition, including yellow skin, extremely underweight and blackened, rotting teeth.
O’Leary described police that she and her husband, 30, are vegan and only eat raw fruits and vegetables – and their children too.
She claimed that she supplemented her youngest child’s diet with the mother’s milk and that he had not eaten solid food for a week before his death.
A post-mortem report discovered the boy’s cause of death as experiencing complications related to malnutrition, including dehydration, microsteatosis of liver and swelling of hands, feet, and legs.
Following the post-mortem, the O’Leary couple turned themselves in.
Cops also found a fourth child at the property who was considerably healthier – she was Sheila’s eldest child from a previous relationship who lived part-time with her dad.
They will stay in jail until they are formally charged on December 9.