A couple in Reedsburg, Wisconsin is facing criminal charges of starving their 15-year-old son to death. Kehinde and Titilayo Omosebi were charged Tuesday, September 4, 2018, with child neglect causing death and child neglect causing great bodily harm. Their oldest son died due to malnutrition after his parents withheld food from him for 40 days. The entire family was fasting to earn God’s favor.
Authorities say that Kehinde walked to the police station on Monday, September 4th. He told authorities he son died at their apartment during a fast. Kehinde told authorities no one in the family had eaten since July 17, 2018.
After receiving the information, the police went to the apartment. Authorities located the dead body of the boy. Additionally, they found an emaciated 11-year-old. Kehinde’s wife Titilayo appeared to be emaciated as well. The New York Post reported that the 11-year-old was clutching a Bible and holding pamphlets on death.
The family lived in an apartment with no power. Kehinde padlocked the door from the inside to keep his family from leaving the apartment. The apartment contained minimal furniture. There were a single bed and four metal folding chairs.
Apparently, authorities found the 15-year-old sitting in one of the chairs. Authorities said they could see the backbone and ribs of the child. Kehinde said the child died on Friday. The family prayed over the weekend to decide what to do about his death.
Kehinde told the police he was a minister at Cornerstone Reformation Ministries. However, authorities were unable to locate a church in this name. However, court record indicates Kehinde has been unemployed since February 2018.
Kehinde forced the family to fast before, but he said the fasts never lasted as long as this one. The couple wished to move away from Reedsburg. They patiently waited for a sign from God. Coincidentally, Kehinde told authorities God wanted them to move to Atlanta.
The couple faces 25 years to life in prison for their charges. Their 11-year-old son is now in protective custody.
According to All About God, Fasting is food and drink for a period. Individuals often fast to get a closer connection to God. Some Christians believe that fasting allows them to take their focus off “things of this world” and allows them to focus on God.
While there have been some studies regarding how long it takes a person to starve to death. Science estimates that most people will die from starvation between 35-40 days.Fasting is controversial in the Christian community. Many pastors believe there is no Biblical rule to fast. While others point to passages in the Book of Acts, where individuals fasted and prayed before making decisions, as a Biblical direction to fast during prayer
This family clearly fasted for far too long. This is a cruel way for a child to die. I cannot imagine the fear the kids felt being locked inside their home.
In my opinion, there is no penalty big enough for the crimes of Kehinde and Titilayo. There is no word on when their trial is scheduled. Kehinde denies any wrongdoing.