Homicide charges sought for parents of girl who starved to death

Kent County

SOLON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Seth Welch announced the death of his 10-month-old daughter, Mary, in a Facebook post. 

“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.” 

On Friday, sheriff’s office detectives asked prosecutors for felony homicide charges against Welch and his wife in the death of Mary, after an autopsy found she died of malnutrition and dehydration. The death was ruled a homicide. 

Deputies say they found the baby unresponsive at the family’s home on Algoma Avenue SE near 20 Mile Road in Solon Township. 

Welch, and his wife, Tatiana Fusari, both 27, are locked up at the Kent County jail in the baby’s death. They are expected to face a judge Monday to be formally charged with murder and first-degree child abuse.

Their home on Algoma Avenue is where the Welches raised three young children and ran Blackacre Farm Products, selling home-grown produce and honey. They grew strawberries, pepper and tomatoes out front. 

It’s also where Seth Welch displayed his faith on hand-painted signs nailed to trees and on the fence out front. 

“Repent. Believe. Obey,” one message painted in white reads. 

In sometimes rambling Facebook videos, he often read from the Bible and preached against “worldly” things. 

“Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and turn away from evil,” he says in one message. 

In one, he rails against doctors and vaccinations. 

“It didn’t seem smart that you would be saving people who weren’t the fittest,” he says in the 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?” 

He says got Child Protective Services called on him when he at first refused to get his first daughter vaccinated. 

He said his youngest two, including Mary, were never vaccinated. 

“Mary and John both haven’t had their vaccines,” he says. “I don’t think John’s been sick a day in his life.” 

A neighbor said he occasionally visited with the couple but that they never talked religion. He said he was shocked by the death and allegations. 

“I’ve seen people that they don’t take care of their kids real well, but I thought they did pretty good with them,” said Jerry Seavers. 

He said he saw the baby just three weeks ago. 

“It was small, but it looked good,” Seavers said. 

CPS officials told 24 Hour News 8 they hadn’t been involved with the family for at least two years. The sheriff’s department said it had been called out to the family’s home once before, but that it wasn’t related to the children. 

***CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the mother as Tatania. We regret this error, which has since been corrected.***

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