A Christian father charged with his wife over the death of their 10-month-old infant daughter from malnutrition and dehydration after they refused to seek medical help claimed on Thursday he was being ‘made an example of’ because of his faith.
Seth Welch and Tatiana Fusari, both 27, were charged on Monday with felony murder and first-degree child abuse after their daughter, Mary, was found dead with sunken eyes and cheeks in her cot at the family home in Solomon Township, Michigan.
Now Welch has claimed his daughter’s autopsy was conducted ‘lazily’ and that ‘something else’ killed her. ‘I believe I am being unfairly charged, being made an example of for my very strong faith,’ he in an interview during a jail visitation.
Seth Welch (left) and Tatiana Fusari, (right) both 27, were charged on Monday with the neglect murder of their baby after an autopsy found she died from malnutrition and dehydration
Mary, was found dead with sunken eyes and cheeks in her cot at the family home in Solomon Township, Michigan. She is pictured in an undated Facebook photo
Welch told WOOD-TV he fed Mary well and did not know she was ill, despite an affidavit saying he and his wife admitted she had been underweight for a month but did not seek help for religious reasons. He did not apologize for his decision.
‘In the Bible, it says that good food is our medicine. We fed her. We were feeding her chicken, potatoes, apples, cheese. We were giving her the good stuff,’ Welch told the station. ‘She died. It’s a tragedy… The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh.’
Welch, who has previously dismissed medics as ‘priests of the medical cult’, said he cared for his children without the aid of professionals, because ‘going to the doctor nowadays is as dangerous as not going’.
In a bizarre rant posted onto Facebook two weeks before Mary died, Welch branded medics ‘skilful magicians and experts in charm’.
‘The righteous shall live by faith,’ he continued. ‘It’s God who is sovereign over disease and those sorts of things and, of course, ultimately deaths.’
Welch claimed during a Thursday cell visitation interview (pictured) his daughter’s autopsy was conducted ‘lazily’ and that ‘something else’ killed her
The couple reportedly admitted to police that they noticed Mary (pictured in older Facebook photos) was underweight as early as a month before her death
Investigators said Welch was responsible for Mary’s care on August 1, the day before Mary died. Fusari had left for work in the afternoon and returned late in the evening. Welch said the baby slept the entire time that Fusari was gone.
‘Mr. Welch never gave Mary food, water or a diaper change during this time,’ Child Protective Services officials wrote.
The family farm where the couple lived is littered with signs condemning evil and ordering nonbelievers to ‘repent and obey’. Some the messages are nailed to fences while others hang from trees.
Welch painted the red, white and blue bible verses about a year ago, after asking his Facebook friends to send ideas. ‘What verses have really stuck in your head, either as an unbeliever coming to Christ, or as a motivator to you as a Christian,’ he asked.
Welch and Fusari were charged with felony murder and first-degree child abuse on Monday. Welch stared with his mouth wide open as the charges were read out, while Fusari cried
One message painted across a wooden fence reads ‘My kingdom is not of this world’, while others say ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’, ‘Every knee shall bow and every throne will confess to God’ and ‘God knows what you need before you ask’.
Photos from inside the couple’s home show handmade wooden desks and chairs, bare walls and images of their young children working on crafts. Welch often posted videos criticizing worldly things and encouraging believers to ‘live off the grid’.
The couple’s two other children, a four-year-old girl named Elizabeth and two-year-old boy named John, were removed from them, according to a Facebook post from Welch, are being cared for by grandparents.
In another Facebook video, Welch explained why he refused to vaccinate any of his offspring. ‘It doesn’t seem smart that you would be saving people who weren’t the fittest,’ he said.
‘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?’
‘Repent believe obey’ and ‘My kingdom is not of this world’ are some of the religious messages painted on the property of Welch and Fusari
Welch made the hand-painted signs more than a year ago, posting on Facebook ideas for bible verses to include
The couple, who consider themselves to be devout Christians, have previously said they do not trust doctors
Welch phoned 911 on August 2 to report his daughter’s death and posted on Facebook shortly afterwards. ‘Heart is about shattered right now,’ he wrote.
‘Woke up to Mary dead in her bed this morning – this evening had our children removed and placed on “no contact” because Tati and I are the worst parents ever – Thankfully they are with grandma and grandpa. 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’.’
The couple made their first court appearance on Monday where Fusari wept as a judge announced the charges. Welch stared at the judge with his mouth hanging open while Fusari cried.
The parents are being held without bond and court records do not list lawyers who can speak on their behalf. They could face life in prison without parole, if convicted of felony murder. They are back in court on August 20.
Welch often preached about the Bible and posted lengthy videos attacking worldly things, doctors and vaccinations
Welch’s last post was a message about his daughter dying and his other children being taken away from him
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