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Regis Johnson and Arhonda Tillman: Couple accused of starving 2-year-old daughter to death

The couple's child, who was 2 years old, weighed as little as a 3-month infant when she died and had cops 'gasping in horror' at her emaciated body
Regis Johnson (L) and Arhonda Tillman (R) were charged with child abuse and arrested on May 11 (Polk County Sheriff's Office)
Regis Johnson (L) and Arhonda Tillman (R) were charged with child abuse and arrested on May 11 (Polk County Sheriff's Office)

POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA: A couple has been charged with the starvation death of their 2-year-old daughter, who weighed as little as a 3-month-old infant and had cops "gasping in horror" when they found her emaciated body. Regis Johnson, 57, and Arhonda Tillman, 35, were arrested and charged with child abuse with grave bodily injury in Polk County on Wednesday, 11 May. Sheriff Grady Judd warned that they were liable to also face increased murder charges once the investigation is completed.

“Basically, it was bones and skin,” the sheriff said to NY Post Thursday, 12 May, indicating the toddler’s frightening appearance. “It is unbelievable what we saw. You’d look at this child and you gasp at the horror you saw, and the pain this child went through.”Johnson and Tillman's baby weighed just over 9 pounds at the time of her death, according to the disturbed and furious Judd, who described her death as "long-term starvation." After Johnson — who Judd ironically labeled "father of the year" — phoned 911 to report that his daughter was not breathing, the kid was found unresponsive in an improvised playpen constructed out of an artificial swimming pool at the family's Davenport home Tuesday, 10 May.


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Tillman said authorities she would have called for help sooner if she and her husband hadn't been "busy," according to the sheriff. Judd further stated that there was food available and that both the father and the mother, who claimed to be four months pregnant, seemed to be well-fed, weighing 213 and 144 pounds, respectively. “Regis Johnson told us the baby ate a sandwich yesterday, and some chicken nuggets,” Judd told NY Post. “Well, that’s just a bald-faced lie. That child had zero food in her stomach.”

The kid was born on July 25, 2019, weighing 6-pounds, 10-ounces, according to the sheriff. According to her medical records, the newborn flourished over her first six months of life. Judd claimed the daughter grew only one ounce between January 2, 2020, when she was last visited by a physician, although her death happened more than two years later.“The baby should have been 32 pounds,” Judd told NY Post. “The baby should have been talking, putting sentences together, asking questions…running, jumping, and playing. When this baby died on May 10, she couldn’t stand, she couldn’t talk, she couldn’t walk.”

According to, the doctor's office stated that it had made repeated attempts to contact the parents due to concerns that their child had cystic fibrosis. Judd, who has two young grandkids of his own, remarked that the only consolation in this scenario is the fact that the little victim is no longer hungry. "She won't get another chance to starve a child to death," he said if Tillman is indeed pregnant, as she informed detectives.