UNIONTOWN, Pa. — The family of a Pennsylvania woman who allegedly starved her 11-month-old son says she practices an extreme form of veganism and fed her baby only small amounts of nuts and berries, reports CBS Pittsburgh.
Elizabeth Hawk, 33, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child after investigators say she allegedly failed to give her 11-month-old son sufficient food.
In an interview with CBS Pittsburgh, Hawk’s sister-in-law said she had been concerned about her nephew, who appeared to have developed physical limitations and other troubling health issues.
“He had a severe rash,” said Brandy Hawk. “It was his motor skills; he couldn’t use his hands at all.”
Brandy Hawk said her sister-in-law has extreme views on nutrition.
“She was going to live on water and sunlight,” Brandy said.
She said Elizabeth Hawk claimed the child just had allergies, but the boy’s father, who is estranged from the suspect was unconvinced, and ultimately decided to bring the child to a state child welfare agency.
Court records show the boy’s attending physician called not treating the rash “inhumane.” The skin condition also put the boy at risk for septic shock, doctors said.
According to court records, the baby was developmentally delayed as a result of being malnourished.
The baby is now at home with his father, as are the couple’s other two children. Brandy Hawk says the child’s condition is improving.
Elizabeth Hawk remains free on her own recognizance. There’s no word on when she’ll appear in court for a preliminary hearing.