A vegan couple from Florida has been arrested for allegedly almost starving their 5-month-old son to death by switching from his doctor-prescribed formula to a mashed potato concoction they found on the internet.
Julia French, 20, and Robert Buskey, 31, have been charged with neglect after investigators found the infant weighed just under 4kg, after being recorded at birth at 3.5kg, according to WFTV news.
According to reports by officials, the baby was obviously malnourished with his ribs visible and sunken eyes.
"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," said Titusville Police Detective Lauren Watson.
"I've never seen a child to this level, this close to possible death."
The couple are also said to follow "Nazarite Hebrew" religious principles and the woman considers herself to be the man's concubine.
A doctor reportedly prescribed infant formula that would fit within the family's vegan lifestyle but the couple instead fed the baby a potato-based meal they found online.
The parents could afford the formula the doctor prescribed and, when questioned by authorities, did not give a reason as to why they chose not to provide it.
Since Wednesday, the boy, who is now in foster care, has gained half a pound on fluids alone.
He'd reportedly been "lethargic and not crying", according to court papers, and "had difficulties maintaining his temperature and sugar due to dehydration and malnourishment".