JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An Oakleaf couple faced a judge Wednesday on manslaughter charges resulting from the 2018 death of their 7-year-old daughter. According to the arrest warrant, Aremo and Anna Akinloba failed to provide proper care to protect their daughter, Omera.
The family lived in the Longlead neighborhood in Oakleaf. Investigators said the girl’s death was a direct result of negligence by her parents.
According to a 10-page arrest warrant, the NCIS wrote that the Akinlobas self-diagnosed Omera with autism when she was a toddler. The warrant states the child was never diagnosed by a doctor and the couple ceased vaccinations for the child when she was 2-years-old.
Investigators said Omera suffered from malnutrition.
“Omera was not receiving proper nutrition; the Akinlobas only fed Omera French fries making her diet inappropriate as it was insufficient for important vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients. Omera had an entire body skin rash for more than a year that the Akinlobas failed to seek medical treatment,” investigators wrote in the arrest affidavit.
Omera was home-schooled. Neighbors in the Longleaf neighborhood in Oakleaf where the Akinlobas lived were shocked to hear of the Akinlobas’ arrest.
“I am very devastated that something like that would happen in this area,” Lashica Brooks said. “Oh Lord, this is devastating. I just feel so sorry for the little girl.”
“The husband and wife came over, ‘cause I have kids here, they came and talked to me,” another nearby resident said. “Her daughter was teething or having issues with teething the night before and something happened overnight and in the morning she wasn’t responsive, so they took her to NAS JAX hospital, where their daughter had died. I had red flags from the initial conversation because I questioned how teething was related to a death, and how it would have progressed overnight if it was just teething.”
News4Jax found a GoFundMe account set up by loved ones to help the family pay for Omera’s funeral in 2018. The account raised more than $10,000.
A neighbor provided News4Jax a home surveillance video that shows authorities parking the Akinlobas’ vehicle in their driveway moments after the couple was taken into custody a block away from their home Tuesday night.
“I am shaken. I want to go get my kids.” one resident of the community said.
The initial report from DCF in 2018 states several agencies at the time found no evidence to suggest abuse or neglect in the home. According to the medical examiner’s autopsy report, her death was due to multi-organism bacterial sepsis and the manner of death was natural.
But the subsequent arrest from Navy investigators said: “Anna and Aremo Akinloba failed to provide proper care to protect Omera which ultimately led to her death.”
The couple is being held on $150,000 They are scheduled to be arraigned on March 3.