Religious Parents Who Refused Medical Treatment for Infant Will Stand Trial

Religious Parents Who Refused Medical Treatment for Infant Will Stand Trial October 12, 2018

A husband and wife had a preliminary trial yesterday in the death of their 10-month-old daughter. Seth Welch and Tatiana Fusari are charged with felony murder in their daughter’s starvation death. Seth and Tatiana are notoriously known as the Christian couple that refused medical treatment for their daughter. After the preliminary trial, the judge ordered a murder trial for the couple.

Mary Welch died in August after her father found her dead in her crib. During the preliminary trial, prosecutors played the audio from the 911 call Seth Welch made to report his daughter’s death. According to the 911 recording, instead of calling for help from police immediately, Seth called his lawyer to ask for help. He waited 90 minutes after he found her deceased before contacting authorities for assistance.

Mary Welch died in her home on August 2nd. At the time of her death, Mary was 10-months-old and only weighed 8 pounds. According to information uncovered in the investigation, the child was so small and weak she could not hold her head up on her own or crawl.

Despite the child’s small frame and size, Tatiana and Seth refused to seek medical care for their daughter. In an interview with investigators, Tatiana cited distrust with medical staff, fear of having her daughter removed from the family by CPS, and religious reasons for not seeking help.

CPS had been involved in 2014 after one of their children tested positive for marijuana exposure. There are no records of a course case related to the CPS report.

Multiple reports indicate that the couple had three children. Two of their children a two-year-old boy and 10-month-old Mary had never received any medical treatment. Seth said a medical provider filed a false report on him for his 4-year-old daughter, and he no longer trusted medical providers.

On the day before the death of Mary, Seth told a 911 dispatcher he put his daughter to bed at 3 pm. His wife, Tatiana, got home around 11:30 pm after finishing work at McDonald’s. Tatiana did not check in on Mary after coming back from work.

According to interviews with CPS, Seth admitted that Mary did not receive any food after 3 pm that afternoon. He also did not change her diapers or go into the room to check on her at anytime that evening. In an interview with CPS, he said he looked in the room through a hole in the door. He said he didn’t want to “stir the hornet’s nest.”

The following morning the child did not make any noise. By 10 am the next day, Tatiana decided to check in on her daughter. At that time Mary was cold to the touch and no longer breathing. The 10-month-old infant had been left in a room by herself with no food, water, and in a soiled diaper for 19 hours.

After the couple found the infant dead, instead of calling the police, Seth decided to call his lawyer. After an hour and a half, he then made a call to 911 to report his daughter’s death. In the call, Seth is emotionless, calm, and indifferent to his situation.

He tells the dispatcher he last saw Mary alive at 3 pm the previous day. He said that his daughter consistently slept from 3 pm to 9 or 9:30 am every day. The dispatcher asked for clarifications on the sleeping schedule multiple times to ensure they heard him correctly.

The audio is painful to listen to and comprehend how a father’s reaction to their child’s death could be so cold. However, the call was played before the court yesterday. Perhaps one of the most alarming things he said to the dispatcher was that is daughter was, “as dead as a doornail.”

When the dispatcher asked Seth how he was doing, Seth responded, “You know, just another day. It is what it is.”

An autopsy performed on Mary indicated that she died from malnutrition and dehydration related to neglect from adult caregivers. Dr. David Start, a forensic pathologist,  said Mary did not have any parasites or diseases that contributed to her smaller than average size.

Sheriff’s Detective Jason Russo told the court that in all the interviews with Seth he never showed any emotion in Mary’s death. Seth did not feel bad that he withheld medical care from his daughter. Even though his daughter was only 8 pounds at ten months old, he thought she was skinny but not sick.

The judge in the case decided both parents will continue to be held in custody without bond until their trial. Defense attornies argued that the parents did not neglect the child and requested leniency for the parents. Judge Smolenski disagreed and said the damage to Mary was obvious. He ordered a murder trial in the death of Mary.

Seth and Tatiana’s other two children have been removed from their custody. They face additional charges for abuse and neglect related to them.

Listen to the audio below:

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • MystiqueLady

    Stories like this … Just so sad and angry. Glad to hear the other children have been removed from the home, but that part of Michigan is just as bad as parts of Mississibama.

  • Martin Penwald

    3,6kg is a birth weight, not a 10-monthes old weight!

  • al kimeea

    I had 10 oz on the poor wee bairn at birth.

  • cheradenine

    My 19 year old weighed 8 lbs 3 ozs at birth, no way in any universe did they not know for months that thia baby was starving to death. The eldest child had been reported to the CPS for neglect and she had a hair strand tested for drugs before this child was born. She tested positive for Cannabis. That was when they developed this so called ‘Christian’ opposition to medical treatment for their kids. The middle boy child had never even seen a doctor in the 2 years of his life!

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s regularly sat there stoned while his wife was out working her 2nd or 3rd job, not taking care of his kids. The phone call… he talked about her so coldly like she was an appliance that had broken-down and he needed a replacement. He didn’t even sound the slightest bit traumatised, just bored of the hassle. Bastard.