Police arrest parents after teen dies during 40-day fast

MADISON, Wisconsin -- Police are investigating the death of a 15-year-old boy who starved to death after his parents made him fast for 40 days.

Officers say the teen's father went to the police department to report the death. When investigators arrived they found the teen's emaciated body.

The teen's mother and an 11-year-old girl were also emaciated and hospitalized, but the mother refused treatment due to religious reasons, WMTV reported.

The father told authorities he is a religious minister and that the family had been fasting for 40 days.

Local pastor Sonny Hyde told WMTV that the type of fasting they were practicing is not necessary.

"There is certainly no instruction biblically, or mandate biblically, for humans, for us, for people, for followers of Jesus to do that, for that duration," Hyde said.

Police say no food was found in the family's home and the 11-year-old was taken into protective custody.

The parents were arrested for neglecting a child causing death and bodily harm.