A faith healing couple in Michigan has been rightly charged with murder after their 10-month-old baby girl died of malnutrition and dehydration.
Tatiana Elena Fusari and Seth Michael Welch were charged with felony murder and first-degree child abuse in the death of their daughter, Mary. Police were called when Welch saw his daughter was unresponsive.
The first deputy on the scene noted the girl’s sunken eyes and cheeks. She had no pulse and her body was cold. She was pronounced dead about 10 minutes later.
Police interviewed the parents, who were aware of their daughter’s condition, sheriff’s Detective Jason Russo wrote in a probable-cause affidavit.
“During interviews with both parents, admissions were made that they were aware of Mary Welch’s skinny appearance and low weight for at least one month prior to this date,” Russo said.
“Tatiana Fusari admitted during the interview that they failed to reach out for medical help with their daughter for fear of having her children removed by Child Protective Services, lack of faith and trust in the medical services and religious reasons,” he wrote.
So, the faith healers didn’t have enough “faith” in medical experts, and their child died as a result. (What a surprise!)
At least these parents have been charged with murder (and more). Far too often we see parents get away with these kinds of abuses just because they say the magic words, “But it’s my religion!” That should never be an acceptable excuse for neglecting the well-being of your kids. At least in Michigan, children who succumb of malnutrition and dehydration because their parents intentionally withhold medical treatment will not die in vain.
In this case, the county medical examiner determined that homicide was the cause of death based on the severity of the neglect.
Dr. David Start, a Kent County medical examiner, determined the girl died of malnutrition and dehydration because of neglect by her parents, court records said.
Start determined the cause of death to be homicide.
If convicted of felony murder, the parents would face mandatory penalties of life in prison without hope for parole.
Hours after police found the dead child, the father said in a public Facebook post that their other children had been removed from the home.
“Heart is about shattered right now,” he wrote.
HIS heart is broken? How does he think his daughter felt as she was being slowly starved to death by him?
We say this often, but let’s hope these charges send a warning to other religious parents who may consider letting God work magic instead of taking their kids to a medical professional: It’s not worth it. Just pretend God provided those doctors for your benefit, and do the right thing.
(Thanks to Adam for the link)