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Father found guilty of baby’s murder, mom takes plea deal

Father found guilty of baby’s murder, mom takes plea deal


Seth Michael Welch

Tatiana Elena Fusari

By Judy Reed

A Solon Township man is facing up to life in prison for the starvation death of his infant daughter after a jury found him guilty of all charges Monday.

Seth Michael Welch, 28, was found guilty of felony murder and first-degree child abuse for the death of his 10-month-old daughter, Mary, who only weighed 8 pounds at the time of her death.

Welch’s wife, Tatiana Elena Fusari, 28, was awaiting trial, but decided to plead no contest Wednesday to second-degree murder and second-degree child abuse. As part of the plea agreement, she will serve a minimum of 25 years in prison. No contest is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such at sentencing. 

The couple found their baby dead in her crib on Thursday, August 2, 2018, and called authorities at 12:06 p.m. to their home at 16509 Algoma Avenue, known by many in the community as Blackacre Farm. The baby was pronounced dead at the scene.

An officer at the scene reported that the baby’s eyes and cheeks were sunken into her head and her muscles were so weak she could not crawl or lift her head. 

Fusari had said she had fed the baby before going to work at her second shift job. 

In a conversation with the dispatcher, Seth Welch said that they had put Mary to bed at 3 p.m. and found her dead at 10 a.m. the next morning—after 19 hours in her crib. He then waited two hours before calling 911. He said that he had waited before calling 911 because he didn’t know what to do and had called his lawyer first. According to the prosecutor, Welch called his parents, texted someone about selling a goat, and googled why a rapper was kidnapped before he called 911. 

When the dispatcher asked how he was holding up, Welch said, “You know, just another day. It is what it is.” 

They reportedly told investigators they just thought the baby was skinny, like her older sister had been. They had never taken Mary to a doctor because Welch said they didn’t trust them after being reported to CPS by one they disagreed with over the care of their oldest daughter.

An autopsy revealed the cause of death was ruled as malnutrition/dehydration due to neglect on the part of the adult caregivers. The pathologist said he found no metabolic diseases or parasites that would keep her from absorbing nutrients.

Police testified that during the investigation, Welch said his daughter’s death was part of natural selection, and he also told them he wasn’t losing any sleep over it.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office said they had only responded to the home once before on a matter unrelated to child welfare. 

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