US-Based Nigerian Parents Arrested After Son Dies During 40-Day Fasting
Nigerian parents, Kehinde Omosebi and Titilayo, have been arrested by the Reedsburg police department in Wisconsin, US, after their son, Ayanfe, starved to death during a religious fast.
According to Wisconsin State Journal, the 49-year old father had voluntarily gone to the Reedsburg police station on Sunday to report his son’s death After he died on Friday.
Reedsburg police chief, Timothy Becker, said the teenage son was found dead in the family house and another child, an 11-year old was hospitalised following what the father described as a week-long religious fast.
“The emaciated 11-year-old boy was clutching a Bible and an envelope containing pamphlets about death on Monday when officers found him, his mother and his brother’s body in the family’s Reedsburg apartment, which had no power and was padlocked from the inside,” authorities say.
Investigators also found the younger boy’s handwritten letter, which was addressed to “Lawyers of Sauk County.”
“The hunger is too much,” the boy wrote. “Please help me now so I may eat. I can’t continue in such a life with no food. If I don’t get food now I’ll probably die of hunger.”
Police revealed that they went to the home of the Omosebis and had to force their way in, as the doors were padlocked from the inside.
“They found Ayanfe O. Omosebi (15) extremely emaciated and deceased. Officers also located an 11–year-old, also extremely emaciated, but alive and 48-year-old Titilayo A. Omosebi also emaciated but responsive.
The father, Kehinde S. Omosebi (49), who described himself as a religious minister affiliated with Cornerstone Reformation Ministries, and his family had started a fast on July 19, 2018 and were fasting for 40 days.”
Officers located no food in the apartment.
The parents were charged on Tuesday with child neglect causing death and child neglect causing great bodily harm. The charge involving death carries a maximum prison term of 25 years.