A child has starved to death after his vegan parents fed him practically nothing except raw fruit and vegetables.
Last week Ryan O’Leary, 30, and wife Sheila, 35, were arrested for the death of their 18-month-old son, who died on September 27.
The toddler, who was from Cape Coral, Florida in the US, weighed just 17 pounds (7.7kg) when he died – the average weight of a seven-month-old baby.
An autopsy carried out by Cape Coral police discovered the boy had died after suffering from dehydration, microsteatosis of liver and swelling of hands, feet, and legs, all of which are related to malnutrition.
Sheila O’Leary called emergency services when she found her son cold and not breathing, Metro UK reported.
Despite Ryan O’Leary’s efforts to resuscitate the child, he was unsuccessful.
When paramedics arrived, the boy was pronounced dead.
When police spoke to the couple, they noticed two of their other children were pale and yellowish in color, News-Press reported.
Authorities weighed the children – aged three and five – and discovered they were both at the very bottom-weight range for their age.
One of them also had blackened teeth.
A third female child did appear to be healthier, but police found out that this child was Sheila O’Leary’s daughter with a different father.
It’s reported police believed she was healthier because she visited her father for a few weeks every two months.
Sheila O’Leary told police her family is vegan and lives on a diet of raw fruits and vegetables.
She said she had breastfed her toddler, explaining her son hadn’t eaten solid food for a week, only breast milk.
The day the child died, Sheila fed her son for a minute before his breathing became shallow.