A Florida couple who fed their children only raw fruits and vegetables were charged Wednesday with murder for the death of their 18-month-old son, police said.
Ryan Patrick O’Leary, 30, and Sheila O’Leary, 35, were indicted on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter, child abuse, and two counts of child neglect.
The toddler weighed only 17 pounds when he died in September. The mother called 911 after noticing her toddler was cold and not breathing. The child was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived.
The medical examiner found that he died from complications due to malnutrition—including dehydration, microvesicular steatosis of the liver, and slight swelling of hands, feet, and lower legs.
The parents admitted that they fed their four children a raw fruit-and-vegetable diet, supplemented with breast milk. They could face the death penalty if convicted.