Titusville Police say 20-year old Julia French gave birth to a son last September. 31-year-old Robert Buskey is the father. They’re charged with child neglect.
A police report says when officers saw their baby in their Titusville home February 14, he had sunken eyes, loose skin on his extremities ribs and other bones were showing. He was unable to move.
Titusville Police Lauren Watson says, “I’ve never seen a child to this level; this close to possible death.”
Police say French and Buskey are not officially married under Florida law, but a person familiar with the investigation says French describes herself as Buskey’s concubine under the principles of their religion, Nazarite Hebrew
Documents show when the baby was born he weighed seven pounds, nine ounces. When found, he weighed eight pounds, eight ounces. He had gained less than one pound in the five months since his birth.
Watson says, “It very well could have ended up being a homicide.”
Police say they ignored doctors’ advice on the type of formula consistent with their vegan lifestyle, and instead spoon-fed him a mashed-potato-based compound that French had found on the internet.
Police say they could afford the proper formula and food, and when asked, had no good reason why they did not provide it.