On May 10, 2022, police in Davenport, Florida received a 911 call for an unresponsive child. When they arrived, they found a 2-year-old who had been starved to death.
The toddler, who has not been identified, was born on July 25, 2019, to parents Arhonda Tillman, 35, and Regis Johnson, 57. Tillman and Johnson had gone to the same church, where Johnson was Tillman’s counselor.
When the baby was born, she was healthy and weighed 6lbs. 10ozs. On January 2, 2022, Tillman and Johnson brought their baby to the doctor; she had gained 3lbs. and was doing well. This was the last time she would see a doctor or medical attention.
On May 10, 2022, Johnson called 911, and told the operator his child was unresponsive. When they arrived, they discovered a 2-year-old who appeared to be malnourished in an inflatable pool that was used as her playpen.
When questioned, Johnson told police that the toddler had eaten a sandwich and chicken nuggets the day prior, which Sheriff Judd called “a ball-faced lie.” Tillman told police she called 911 earlier, but the dispatcher told them they were busy, which was also not true.
The medical examiner had determined the toddler had nothing in her stomach and “only slight traces of fecal matter in the intestines.” The toddler had suffered from long-term starvation and weighed only 9lbs at the time of her death. In two years and 4 months, the toddler gained 1 ounce. The medical examiner stated at the time of death, the two-year-old would not have been able to stand, walk, or talk.
In 2019, DCF was called to investigate a claim of child abuse/neglect. According to news outlets, the case was closed when the parents promised they would get medical help and the child gained weight.
At the time of her arrest, Tillman told police she was 4 months pregnant. Sheriff Judd also mentioned that Tillman weighed 144lbs., Johnson weighed 213 lbs., and that there was plenty of food in the house.
Both Arhonda Tillman and Regis Johnson have both been charged with aggravated child abuse. Sheriff Judd stated during a press conference that they will be seeking murder charges after their investigation is completed.
Johnson’s brother, Frank Robinson, 64, was arrested and charged with negligent child abuse and failure to report child abuse in the home.