Irish-American couple who 'starved toddler to death' on vegan diet charged with murder
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Irish-American couple who 'starved toddler to death' on vegan diet charged with murder

AN IRISH-AMERICAN couple who forced a ruthless vegan diet on their 18-month-old son, leading to his death, have been charged with murder.

Ryan, 30, and Sheila O'Leary, 35, from Florida, US, allegedly starved their toddler by feeding him nothing but raw vegetables and fruit.

They've now officially been charged with murder, child abuse, manslaughter and child neglect.

When he died, the boy reportedly hadn't eaten for a week, and the parents noted that his breathing had become very shallow.

In September, Sheila phoned 911 reporting that her son wasn't breathing and felt cold, while her husband attempted to provide resuscitation to the child.

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By the time paramedics arrived, it was too late, and the boy was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination of the boy's body found that his death was caused by a number of different symptoms of malnutrition, including dehydration, liver problems and swelling to various parts of his body including his hands, feet and lower legs.

It also revealed that the child weighed just 17 pounds - the average weight of a seven-month-old - at the time of his death.

According to News-Press, police investigating the child’s death then noticed the gaunt appearance of the couple’s other two children, aged 3 and 5.

Both were found to be at the very bottom weight range for their age while one of the children’s teeth reportedly appeared blackened by decay.

Their mother later told authorities that her family had been subsisting solely on raw fruit and vegetables.

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They had a third child who was Sheila's daughter from a previous relationship - who appeared to look healthier than the others. That child was likely healthier because she stays with her father every two months.

Their mother later told authorities that her family had been subsisting solely on raw fruit and vegetables.

Social services have since stepped in to take care of the couple's children, while the daughter from a previously now permanently lives with her father.

The couple will next appear in court on December 23.