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Cape couple charged in starvation death of 18-month-old son

By Staff | Nov 8, 2019

A Cape Coral couple has been charged with aggravated manslaughter after police say their baby died of starvation.

Sheila O’Leary, 35, and Ryan O’Leary, 30, of 244 S.E. 45th St, were charged Wednesday with one count of aggravated manslaughter of a child due to neglect, one count of child neglect causing great bodily harm, and one count of child neglect without great bodily harm.

Two other children, 3 and 5, who police say were also were extremely malnourished, were removed from the couple’s home on Sept. 27 after police responded to a call that an 18-month-old boy had stopped breathing.

Medical personnel pronounced the baby dead on scene. The Department of Children and Families were notified and the agency immediately removed his siblings for their safety, according to a statement issued by the Cape Coral Police Department Thursday.

Sheila O’Leary and Ryan O’Leary were arrested Wednesday shortly after the medical examiner released the baby’s official cause of death.

The O’Learys turned themselves in to the Cape Coral Police Department, the release states.

They were transported to the Lee County Jail.

Both remained in custody Thursday morning with bond set for each at $250,000.