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A vegan couple in Orlando, Florida have been arrested after being accused of starving their five-month-old child.
Orlando’s WFTV reported that Robert Buskey and Julia French were arrested and booked into Brevard County Jail on a charge of child neglect.
Authorities in Florida claim the child was “frighteningly gaunt and thirsty”.
Titusville Police Det. Lauren Watson said:
I've never seen a child to this level, this close to possible death.
According to court documents, the couple ignored nutritional advice from the baby’s doctor and allegedly fed their son “a potato-based mash”.
There may even be long-term medical issues as a result of the malnourishment.
Health professionals say the boy is experiencing a fluctuating temperature brought on by lack of fluids and nourishment.
Detective Watson added:
At one point, when the child was doing good and healthy and gaining weight, he was on an organic formula and they changed it on their own.
Police have charged the parents with neglect, but other charges could be added at a later date.
Jail records show that Buskey, the boy’s father, has been convicted of assault and drug-related charges in the past.
It is unclear whether their decision to feed their child exclusively with potatoes is related to their vegan beliefs.
More: These vegan parents are selling everything to travel and ‘world-school’ their kids