Horrific Details: Vegan Couple Charged in Malnutrition Death of 18-Month-Old Son

A vegan mother and father have been charged in the malnutrition death of their 18-month-old son who weighed as much as a child less than half his age and never saw a doctor, the News-Press reported.

The Cape Coral, Florida, toddler died Sept. 27 in the care of his parents, Ryan and Sheila O’Leary, the paper said, adding that he weighed 17 pounds — as much as the average 7-month-old. The News-Press said the average 18-month-old boy weighs just over 24 pounds.

The family ate only raw fruits and vegetables, the parents told police, and the toddler’s diet was supplemented with breast milk, the paper said.

Autopsy findings determined the boy’s death was caused by complications of malnutrition, including dehydration, microsteatosis of the liver, and slight edema of hands, feet and lower legs, the News-Press reported, citing a probable cause statement. . .

Shelia O’Leary added to police that her 18-month-old boy was born at home and had never seen a doctor, the paper said. Ryan O’Leary told police that was the family’s preference, the News-Press added. The boy’s feet had been swollen off and on for a few weeks, and he wasn’t walking as much as he used to, the mother said, according to the paper.

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