PARENTING

Florida Couple Nearly Starved Baby to Death on Bizarre Vegan Diet

Florida couple Julia French and Robert Buskey are facing child neglect charges for nearly starving their five-month-old baby boy to death. According to the arrest warrant reported by local news sources, the five-month-old baby, who weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces at birth, had gained only one pound in his first five months. Officers, who were called to the couple’s home after neighbors reported the child might be in danger, reported that the child had sunken eyes and visible bones in addition to loose skin often found on severely malnourished children. Titusville Police say the baby was under pediatric care, but his parents had ignored suggestions that he be fed an organic formula to maintain the couple’s vegan wishes. Instead, they switched to a homemade potato-based mash. “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,” Det. Lauren Watson of the Titusville Police Department told local media. “I've never seen a child to this level, this close to possible death.” The couple said they followed the strict rules of a religious sect, which means that French, who is legally married to Buskey, refers to herself as his concubine, according to local news reports.