Phoenix couple accused of not feeding baby for weeks

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by Matthew Seeman

Video report by Mike Watkiss

Posted on March 25, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 28 at 12:34 PM

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix couple are accused of not feeding their 9-month-old son for nearly three weeks, according to court records.

Ryan Adam Morris, 32, took the infant to a Phoenix hospital Saturday where medical staff determined the child was severely underweight at 7 pounds and had been neglected, court records said.

When police contacted Morris and Veronica Marie Diaz, his 27-year-old girlfriend and the mother of the infant, both said they had not fed the child since March 1, when they ran out of baby formula. Instead, they said they gave him a bottle of water each day and a little milk at night until Diaz’s ex-boyfriend bought formula on March 19, according to records.

"They failed to provide some food for this child for 18 days," says Phoenix Police Sgt. Steve Martos. "And despite the fact that they claim that they have no money, had enough money to purchase other items like cigarettes, soda, and other food for themselves and other children."

Diaz told police she receives no financial support for her family, which includes four daughters, and she needed to feed everyone else, court documents said. She said she had given up on her son and wanted him to leave, expecting him to grow sick once she stopped feeding him.

Morris, identified as the father of the child, told officers he could not buy the child food because he needed to pay bills, records said. He then added that he bought tobacco products between March 1 and March 19 and could have used that money to buy food. He also said that Diaz receives a Social Security check each month.

They were arrested at their home near Glendale Avenue and Interstate 17 on suspicion of child abuse. Morris was held on $10,000 bond and Diaz was held on $150,000 bond.

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