Cape Coral toddler who died of malnutrition weighed 17 lbs.

Reporter: Justin Kase
Published: Updated:
Ryan O'Leary and Sheila O'Leary. (Credit Lee County Sheriff's Office.)
Ryan O’Leary and Sheila O’Leary. (Credit Lee County Sheriff’s Office.)

An arrest report describes the horrid conditions of the home where two Cape Coral parents are accused of letting their 18-month-old toddler starve to death.

Cape Coral Police Department arrested suspects Ryan O’Leary, 30, and Sheila O’Leary, 35, after police went to their home and found their 18-month-old son was not breathing and was later pronounced dead at the family’s home.

According to the new arrest report, the mother told investigators the baby was born inside the home and the child never went to the doctor. An autopsy report showed the child weighed 17 lbs. The boy died from malnutrition and dehydration. The arrest report states the parents told officers of the Cape Coral Police Dept. the child got sick and did not eat for a week. He was only breastfed.

Officers removed the two older sisters, who were ages 3 and 5. Investigators said the entire family slept on the living room floor – one of them on a dog bed. The oldest child, 11 years old, appears to be in much better health, police say. She lives in Virginia with her biological father.

While the children were at the Cape Coral home, neighbors thought the kids were home-schooled. But, investigators found they were not enrolled in any home-school program. Dr. Laura Streyffeler said that it made it more difficult for anyone to report the neglect these children were experiencing.

“There weren’t another set of eyes to even notice,” she said, “is as much of a problem as the neglect itself.”

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