Wisconsin Teen Allegedly Dies 44 Days Into Religious Fast — and His Parents Are Charged
A statement from police alleges Ayanfe Omosebi died after 44 days without food
Police in Wisconsin have arrested the parents of an “extremely emaciated” 15-year-old who died Friday — 44 days into a religious fast he was allegedly forced into.
A statement from Reedsburg Police Chief Timothy Becker alleges that father Kehinde Omosebi, 49, walked into his police department on Sunday afternoon to report the death of his son, Ayanfe Omosebi.
Investigators “responded to the home and forced entry as the doors were padlocked from the inside,” reads the statement.
Inside, officers found Ayanfe “extremely emaciated and deceased.”
Police also located another child who was “also extremely emaciated, but alive” and Ayanfe’s mother, 48-year-old Titilayo Omosebi.
The mother was also “emaciated” but responsive, according to the statement.
Kehinde and Titilayo Omosebi are identified in the statement as “the biological parents of the children.”
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Kehinde Omosebi allegedly told police he is a “religious minister affiliated with Cornerstone Reformation Ministries,” and that his family started their fast on July 19.
But Sonny Hyde, pastor of the Cornerstone Ministry Baptist Church in Reedsburg, told the Wisconsin State Journal the family was not affiliated with his church and he was not aware there was something called Cornerstone Reformation Ministries.
Police found no food inside their Reedsburg residence.
Titilayo Omosebi and the other child were transported to a nearby hospital for treatment, but the mother refused, “citing religious restrictions.”
The parents have not entered pleas to the charges they face of neglecting a child causing death and neglecting a child causing great bodily harm. They remain in police custody.
The other child is now in protective custody, the statement explains.
A cause of death has not been released; it is pending the results of an autopsy.
Neither defendant has an attorney of record who could comment on their behalf.