Lauren Watson, a detective with the Titusville Police Department, said she encountered a jarring case of child abuse this week.
“I’ve never seen a child to this level,” Waton told WFTV9, “this close to possible death.”
Police say they arrested 31-year-old Robert Buskey and 20-year-old Julia French on Wednesday after discovering their 5-month-old son was starving to death, according to WESH2.
The Florida vegan couple had switched their baby off a doctor-recommended formula that was “consistent with their vegan lifestyle,” police told WESH2. Instead, police say the couple fed the baby a formula made from potatoes but couldn’t explain why.
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The baby boy, born seven pounds and nine ounces, gained less than a pound in his 5-month life, police told WFTV9.
Police say the baby had visible bones and sunken eyes, according to WESH2.
After receiving fluids on Wednesday, the child is already a half-pound heavier, police told WFTV9. He is under the care of the Department of Children and Families.