A vegan couple allegedly almost starved their five-month-old son to death by feeding him a recipe they found on the internet.
Julia French, 20, and Robert Buskey, 31, have both been charged with neglect after deciding against the doctor-prescribed formula for their baby.
The Florida couple instead fed their son, whose name has not been released, a concoction made of mashed potatoes.
Shocked investigators found that the the infant weighed only 8 pounds, 8 ounces after being recorded at birth at 7 pounds, 9 ounces, according to WFTV news.
The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) said the boy was obviously malnourished with his ribs visible and eyes appearing sunken.
Titusville Police Detective Lauren Watson said: “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.
“I’ve never seen a child to this level, this close to possible death.”
The couple are unmarried however a person familiar with the investigation told WESH that French claims to be Buskey’s concubine under ‘Nazarite Hebrew’ religious principles.
They are both accused of ignoring the type of formula that would fit with their vegan lifestyle ordered by their doctor, and instead fed him on a potato-based creation found on the internet by French.
Police said the parents could afford the prescribed formula and did not present a reason as to why they did not provide it to their child.
Since Wednesday, the baby, who is now in DCF custody, has gained a half a pound on fluids alone.
The baby had been ‘lethargic and not crying’ when found according to court papers, and ‘had difficulties maintaining his temperature and sugar due to dehydration and malnourishment.’
During booking, Buskey appeared to contest the medical reports about his child.
Both Buskey and French are currently being held in Brevard County Jail.