Michigan parents charged in neglect death of 10-month-old

August 7, 2018 GMT

SOLON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The parents of a 10-month-old girl who died of malnutrition and dehydration in western Michigan have been charged with felony murder and first-degree child abuse.

Seth Welch and Tatiana Fusari, both 27, were charged Monday in the death of their daughter, Mary. The Kent County sheriff’s office said Welch called 911 last week and deputies found the child not breathing inside a home in Solon Township, north of Grand Rapids.


One of the first responders noted the child’s sunken eyes and cheeks, and lack of pulse. She was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy Friday ruled the cause of death as malnutrition and dehydration due to neglect by adult caregivers.

The Kent County couple admitted their daughter had been skinny and underweight for at least a month, an affidavit alleged. The parents didn’t seek medical help for religious reasons, fear of having Child Protective Services called and a lack of trust in medical services, according to records.

The parents are being held without bond and court records don’t list lawyers who can speak on their behalf.

Welch and Fusari have two older children together, ages 2 and 4. Child Protective Services filed on Monday a neglect case against the parents involving their two eldest children.

Welch has posted about Child Protective Services, a distrust of doctors and religious beliefs on Facebook, WOOD-TV reported. He spoke in one video post about refusing to get his children vaccinated.

The couple could face life in prison without parole, if convicted of felony murder.