Christian Parents Relied on God's Help While Their 10-month-old Daughter Died of Dehydration
KENT COUNTY, MICHIGAN — August 9, 2018
The Christian parents of a 10-month-old daughter refused to get medical help citing religious reasons as the young girl died of malnutrition and dehydration in western Michigan.
Seth Welch and Tatiana Fusari, both 27, were charged with felony murder and first-degree child abuse on Monday. They face life in prison. The parents are being held without bond and court records do not list lawyers who can speak on their behalf. The second hearing starts today.
In the incredible footage filmed in a Kent County court, Welch stared at the judge with his mouth wide open as she read out the charges, while Fusari burst into tears.
According to the court documents, the girl was found with sunken eyes and cheeks after Welch called 911 to say he had found the child dead in her crib. An autopsy on Friday ruled her cause of death as malnutrition and dehydration due to neglect by adult caregivers.
The parents admitted to noticing their daughter was skinny and underweight as early as a month before her death. They also said that did not seek medical help 'for fear of having Child Protective Services called, lack of faith and trust in medical services and religious reasons', according to court documents.
They repeatedly posted on Facebook statements such as 'God is sovereign over disease'. Welch also dismissed doctors as 'priesthoods of the medical cult'.
"It didn't seem smart that you would be saving people who weren't the fittest," he said Welch in a published video. "If evolution believes in survival of the fittest, why are we vaccinating everybody? Shouldn't we just let the weak die off and let the strong survive?"
Together they also repeatedly announced 'Repent. Believe. Obey.'
"Heart is about shattered right now," Welch posted on Facebook about his child's death on the same day.
“Woke up to Mary dead in her bed this morning -- this evening had our children removed. Just numb inside right now. And I'm really enjoying the loving embrace of an isolation cell from the cops and government employees who keep assuring me 'they are only here to help.'” he also wrote.
Welch and Fusari have two other children together, ages 2 and 4. It is known if they also refused to vaccinate their children.
Child Protective Services filed a case against the parents for criminal neglect of their two eldest children. Fusari is also believed to be pregnant with a fourth child.