After finding his daughter dead in her crib, Seth Welch called his lawyer and waited another 90 minutes before he finally rang 911.

When the emergency dispatcher asked if 10-month-old Mary was beyond help, Welch simply replied: "Oh yeah, she was dead as a doornail".

"Just another day," he continued. "It is what it is."

Welch sobbed in court on Wednesday as prosecutors played the disturbing phone call during a preliminary hearing for him and his wife Tatiana Fusari, who allegedly refused to seek medical help for Mary due to their Christian beliefs, the Daily Mail reports.


Both parents have been ordered to stand trial for murder in the death of Mary, who weighed only 8 pounds when she was found dead in the family's Grand Rapids, Michigan home in August.

A forensic pathologist ruled that she died of "malnutrition associated with dehydration due to neglect of adult caregivers".

Investigators said Welch was responsible for Mary's care on August 1, the day before she died, while Fusari was at work.

He told the emergency dispatcher that he put Mary to bed at 3pm that day. When he checked on her at 10am on August 2, she was dead.

After calling both his lawyer and his parents, Welch finally called 911.

"I guess I don't know if this is the right place to report this to. One of my children is dead," the father-of-three told the dispatcher.

When the dispatcher asked why he thought that, Welch said he had 'no idea'.

"We just woke up and she's dead," he simply replied.

Welch then told the dispatcher that Mary wasn't breathing and didn't have a heartbeat. Fusari said she was cold and not breathing.

Mary, was found dead with sunken eyes and cheeks in her cot at the family home in Solomon Township, Michigan in August. Photo / Facebook
Mary, was found dead with sunken eyes and cheeks in her cot at the family home in Solomon Township, Michigan in August. Photo / Facebook

The father then revealed to the dispatcher that he found Mary more than an hour ago.

"I called my ask what's the best thing I can do, and they said wait until they're here to call police. I was waiting on legal counsel," he said. "I had no idea what to do."

Fusari told police she had breastfed Mary before going to work at McDonald's on August 1, but that neither parent fed her after that.

Neither she or Welch went back into Mary's room until the next day. Child Protective Services said they didn't give her any food, water, or even change her diaper.

The parents, who were also charged with first-degree child abuse, told police that Mary had been sick and low in weight for at least a month before she died.

But Welch later told WOOD-TV in August that he fed Mary well and did not know she was ill.

"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."

Both Fusari (pictured) and Welch cried throughout the preliminary hearing on Wednesday. Photo / AP
Both Fusari (pictured) and Welch cried throughout the preliminary hearing on Wednesday. Photo / AP

Welch has since claimed he is being "made an example of" because of his "very strong faith" and said Mary's autopsy was conducted "lazily".

His defense argued on Wednesday that the infant may have suffered from a metabolic disorder that kept her from absorbing nutrients.

But Dr David Start, the forensic pathologist that performed Mary's autopsy, said he found no metabolic diseases or parasites, according to

And Judge Sara Smolenski disagreed with the defense's argument that the parents had unknowingly harmed Mary.

"It is as horrific as it gets," she told the courtroom. "The skeletal-like posture of the child, in my opinion, speaks volumes for how long the baby was not cared for properly."

Smolenski said she was also struck by Welch's callousness in the 911 call after discovering his daughter was dead.

One investigator revealed that there was limited baby food in the house, which was covered with mice feces and flies.

Mary's bed was also filthy and even appeared to have mold growing on it, they added.

The family farm where the couple lived was littered with signs condemning evil and ordering nonbelievers to "repent and obey".

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".

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?"

Welch and Fusari are currently being held without bond. They could face life in prison without parole if convicted of felony murder.