Parents Charged After Child Found Severely Malnourished
South Florida Crime
BOYNTON BEACH (CBSMiami) – A mother and father were arrested over the weekend on a charge of felony child neglect after the couple’s three-year-old child was found severely malnourished and had multiple sores in and on his mouth that made it difficult for him to swallow or eat.
According to Boynton Beach Police, the boy’s mother, Champagne Gillis, 21, brought the child to the hospital because he was sick. She told the medical staff he only ate apple sauce and milk since birth because he doesn’t like solid food.
When the boy was checked at the hospital, he was severely malnourished, had been suffering from diarrhea, and had a fever of 102 for a week to 10 days prior to being brought to the hospital, according to the arrest report.
Boynton Beach Police said when they talked to Gillis, she said she wasn’t happy with a pediatric doctor and decided to try homeopathic medicine from a doctor she met playing role-play/board games in West Palm Beach.
According to police, Gillis said that she didn’t brush her son’s teeth in over a month because he didn’t like toothpaste and thought the sores in his mouth were “odd” but thought he bit his tongue and they would heal. Police said he never saw a doctor until he was one year old and didn’t know the last time he was seen by a real doctor.
The arrest report said that when Gillis was told her son was going to be admitted to the hospital, she said she had to have her grandmother watch him so she and the boy’s father could go assist a show in West Palm Beach. Police said she also told them she smokes marijuana daily, but not in the same room as the child.
When Boynton Beach Police talked to the father, Thomas Phillips, 38, authorities said he couldn’t explain his son’s medical history and said his girlfriend Champagne takes care of his medical issues. Police said he “showed a disturbing lack of care and concern for his child’s well being” and that he didn’t see a need to take the child to a doctor because “his girlfriend deals with that stuff.”
Police said that the neglect happened even though neither parent worked and were home all day with the child.