A Pennsylvania mom who had “become obsessed” with veganism has been arrested and charged with child endangerment for allegedly feeding her baby only nuts and berries, according to court records obtained by PEOPLE.
Elizabeth Hawk, 33, of Farmington, Pennsylvania, was charged Tuesday with child endangerment after her estranged husband notified authorities that their 11-month-old son had a severe rash from head to toe, which he attributed to the baby’s diet, according to the court records.
On Aug. 16, the baby’s father, Jerry Hawk, 44, brought the child to the Fayette County Children and Youth Services, saying that his wife had “become obsessed” with a vegan diet and would not allow the child to eat anything other than small amounts of fruits and nuts, according to court records.
The rash, which “became so bad that the child was scratching [his] skin off in places,” had become worse in part because the child was malnourished, Jerry alleged to child welfare officials.
Jerry also told child welfare officials that Elizabeth had been given a topical cream to treat the rash, “but refuses to use it,” according to the court records.
A West Virginia hospital pediatrician who examined the child on Aug. 16 said the mother’s alleged neglect of the rash was “inhumane” because of the level of discomfort it was causing, the court records state.
The pediatrician said that the rash put the child at risk for septic shock.
The baby “cannot crawl as a result of the malnourishment,” which also left him developmentally delayed, according to the court records.
The mother, who follows a strict vegan diet herself, is 5 feet 9 inches and weighs only 90 pounds, according to the records.
Elizabeth was charged with endangering the welfare of the baby for allegedly not feeding the child properly over the course of several months and for failing to apply the prescribed skin ointments for the rash, according to the records.
The records do not indicate whether Elizabeth has an attorney. PEOPLE’s attempts to reach her were unsuccessful.
She was released on her own recognizance and faces a Nov. 14 preliminary hearing, according to Philly.com.
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