Kehinde Omosebi walked into the Reedsburg Police Department with a stunning confession: His 15-year-old son had starved to death, authorities say.
The 49-year-old Wisconsin man told authorities on Sunday that he and his family started a 40-day religious fast on July 19, and that one of his two sons didn’t survive the weeks-long ordeal, according to a status on the Reedsburg Police Department’s Facebook page. Omosebi, whose other son is 11-years-old, told police that he is a minister with Cornerstone Reformation Ministries.
When they went to the man’s house, police say they found that the doors at the house were padlocked from inside — and both Omosebi’s younger son and 48-year-old wife, Titilayno Omosebi, were “emaciated” but alive, according to the press release.
Ayanfe O. Omosebi, the 15-year-old, was found “emaciated and deceased” inside the home, according to the police release.
Both Kehinde and Titilayno are charged with neglecting a child causing great bodily harm and neglecting a child causing death, police say. Authorities allege that there was no food in the house when they searched the property.
Kehinde told officers that his son had died on Day 44 of the religious fast, police reportedly told The Wisconsin State-Journal. Doug Knuth, a neighbor of the family, said in an interview with the newspaper that he struggled to remember a time when he saw the family.
Wisconsin police arrested Titilayno Omosebi for child neglect after she was accused of having her two sons go through a weeks-long fast, with her 15-year-old son dying after Day 40.
Reedsburg Police Department
And a pastor from the Cornerstone Ministry Baptist Church in Reedsburg pushed back against Kehinde’s explanation that he was a minister with the so-called “Cornerstone Reformation Ministries.” According to The Wisconsin State-Journal, Sonny Hyde explained that he had never heard of such a church in the area, and that the Omosebi family did not have a connection to his place of worship.
The 11-year-old was taken into protective custody and is receiving treatment at the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, according to WKOW. His mother, Titilayno, refused treatment at the Reedsburg Area Medical Center because of her religion, police said.