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Parents arrested after infant son is discovered to be extremely underweight

PHOENIX (WKRC) -- A Phoenix couple is facing child abuse charges after medical staff discovered their 9-month-old son only weighed seven pounds.

The child's parents, Veronica Diaz and Ryan Morris, were arrested when Morris took the child to the hospital. The boy was "extremely underweight and neglected," according to police.

Diaz told investigators that she stopped feeding the child on March 12 when she ran out of formula. After that, she only gave him water and a little milk every night until March 19.

Diaz said she had four other children "to take care of and make sure are fed, so she gave up on the victim," according to court documents.

Diaz also claimed she stopped feeding the child because she wanted Morris to go away. She claims that Morris sexually assaulted her around the time she became pregnant with the 9-month-old.

Morris told police that he knew the child was going without food and that he had money for formula, but he spent it on tobacco instead.

Diaz had previous contact with Child Protective Services, but she fled to California before the scheduled meeting.

Diaz and Morris are being held in Maricopa County jails where they were booked on one count each of child abuse.

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