Champagne Gillis and Thomas Phillips face child neglect charges

3-year-old son weighed 25 pounds

Two Boynton Beach parents are locked up after police say a 25 pound three-year-old was malnourished and never ate solid food.

The parents, Champagne Gillis and Thomas Phillips, were arrested Friday.

They say they took their son to the emergency room Friday night because he was very sick with sores in his mouth and a 102-degree fever.

"He had been sick for a while. His immune system seems to be shot. He is always getting sick so when he finally was getting to that point where he couldn't keep his bottle down, I brought him to the ER to get help," Gillis said.

Police responded and the boy was transferred to Palms West Pediatric ER according to police reports.

The parents were charged with child neglect.

Gillis says she was trying a homeopathic approach to making her son eat.

The boy's father says he didn't brush his son's teeth because his son didn't like it.

"It's the same thing as with the food. He fights against doing it. There is only so much I'm going to try and have him do before he gets sick," Thomas Phillips said.

The parents say apple sauce is the only thing Sebastian would eat for the past three years. 

They say what they did is not child neglect. "It sounds like it -- but it's not. It is just the opposite. If we tried to force feed him they would still try to get us on abuse charges."

The child is now in the care of DCF and the couple's other two children are with a family member, they say.

According to the police report, while at the hospital the mother did not seem alarmed that her son was malnourished.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments