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Parents of a 10-month-old girl who died of malnutrition and dehydration allegedly refused to get medical help for religious reasons face life in jail.

Seth Welch and Tatiana Fusari, both 27, were charged with felony murder and first-degree child abuse on Monday over the death of their daughter, Mary, on Thursday, reports Daily Mail.

In incredible footage filmed in a Kent County court, Welch stared at the judge with his mouth wide open as she read out the charges, while Fusari burst into tears.

First responders found Mary with sunken eyes and cheeks after Welch called 911 to say he had found the child dead in her crib. An autopsy on Friday ruled her cause of death as malnutrition and dehydration due to neglect by adult caregivers.

Welch and Fusari, who also shares her husband’s surname, were brought in for questioning where they admitted to noticing their daughter was skinny and underweight as early as a month before her death.

The parents, from Cedar Springs, did not seek medical help ‘for fear of having Child Protective Services called, lack of faith and trust in medical services and religious reasons’, according to court documents.

Welch has posted about CPS, a distrust of doctors and his religious beliefs on Facebook in often rambling videos. He spoke in one about refusing to get his children vaccinated because ‘God is sovereign over disease’.

Child Protective Services filed on Monday a neglect case against the parents involving their two eldest children. Fusari is also believed to be pregnant with a fourth child.

The parents are being held without bond and court records do not list lawyers who can speak on their behalf.

The couple could face life in prison without parole, if convicted of felony murder. They are back in court on August 20.

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  • Is it happening to their other children too. I hope they remove the baby from their care as soon as he / she is born. Did they refuse to give the baby formula….. or solids when they should have?

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  • I can’t believe they let their child die from malnutrition. I hope the other children get taken into care and a placed in a better home than they were in. This should never have happened

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  • They deserve whatever they get. It’s people like these that give Christians a bad name. No loving God would want anyone to suffer and I believe in a loving God.

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  • Seriously? What kind of human beings let a child die from malnutrition because of religious beliefs? They are not human. That poor child will have suffered so badly, it breaks my heart. They do not deserve to be parents.

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  • Not caring or raising your child is not a religion, now that is a made up one! Whatever new religion is being made its quite sad to see the lack in parenting in this new day era, Fly high little one you didn’t deserve this

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  • This is horrific! Religious beliefs should not outweigh the love and care of your child/children ….

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  • This is just terrible

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  • You can make any excuses you like, religious belief or not, child abuse is child abuse and they should be charged.

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  • Poor child and in a way also poor parents !
    In certain area’s in the world, not vaccinating because of religious reason, isn’t as uncommon as we may think. Let’s stay repectful and not ridicule these people, but kind of sad when you’re brought up with such limiting and rigid ideas about God.

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  • if only they had sought help.

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  • That baby didn’t deserve it. When does religion or anything else become more superior than the love and wellbeing for your child


    • Exactly,I hope they get convicted & life, that way,no other precious infant will fall victim to their irresponsibility & child abuse!

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  • What religious reasons could you possibly have for not looking after your child properly?!

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  • That poor little girl.

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  • Poor little girl… I wish the parents had showed ore attention to her. :-(

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  • The poor child – dying of malnutrition must have been painful – this is so horrific.

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