Most of this post originally appeared on my Blogspot version of The Overeducated Housewife on August 9, 2018. I am reposting it today, because I just don’t feel like writing anything fresh right now. I’m a little depressed today. This case has been updated, so I will offer what details I uncover about it, as of the present.
Meet Seth Welch and his wife, Tatiana Fusari of Solon Township, Kent County, Michigan. Together, they are the 27 year old parents of three children, with a fourth evidently on the way. Seth and Tatiana are currently sitting in jail. Why? Because one week ago, their ten month old daughter, Mary Welch, died of malnutrition and dehydration. On August 2nd, Mary’s parents found her dead in her bed.
Mary was their third child and she had been failing to thrive. Seth and Tatiana had noticed her “skinny” appearance and low weight for at least a month prior to Mary’s death. Instead of taking her to a doctor, Seth and Tatiana decided to avoid seeking competent medical help for Mary. They claim they did so for “religious reasons”, although Tatiana Fusari also said that they feared that child protective services would take their kids. Their worst fears have come to pass. The couple’s two older children are now in the care of their maternal grandparents, and Seth and Tatiana are now charged with felony murder and first degree child abuse.
I first read about this couple on a site called LADbible. I don’t generally like to use sites with obvious agendas as my primary sources, although it seems that author Mike Wood did a fair enough job reporting about this case. The Washington Post has also printed an article about this couple who feared CPS more than losing their daughter to malnutrition and dehydration.
Someone in the Duggar Family News: Life is not all pickles and hairspray group wrote that this couple is from their hometown. Seth Welch is a farmer who also posted a number of video sermons against vaccines, “bad medicine”, and doctors whom he described as “priesthoods of the medical cult”. He also has an 8 year old child from an earlier relationship and, according to his public Facebook page, his wife may be pregnant again. ETA: As of 2023, that page is not working anymore.
Most damningly, Welch explains why he didn’t vaccinate his kids:
“It didn’t seem smart to me that you would be saving people who weren’t the fittest. If evolution believes in survival of the fittest, well then why are we vaccinating everybody? Shouldn’t we just let the weak die off and let the strong survive?”
It’s hard for me to read that comment and reconcile that with the look of utter shock on Welch’s face as the charges against him and his wife are read. On his Facebook page, he writes of Mary’s death:
Heart is about shattered right now.
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 – Thankfully they are with grandma and grandpa
Just numb inside right now. And I’m really enjoying the loving embrace of an isolation cell from the cops and government employees who keep assuring me “they are only here to help”.
Really? I would say that if your helpless infant daughter is clearly not thriving and you do absolutely nothing to help her, you would rank as among the “worst parents ever”. According to his Facebook page, Seth prefers eating a “natural diet”. Well, Seth, good luck with that while you’re in the jug. I suspect you will be carb loading from now on…
People are understandably horrified about Mary Welch’s untimely death. Lots of folks have posted hateful and profane diatribes on Seth Welch’s Facebook page. I’m not going to follow suit because I don’t think calling him and his wife “pieces of shit” is very constructive, even if I understand the sentiment. I have noticed that a lot of men have gone off the rails, though, and become hyper-religious. One of my friends is originally from Sweden but now lives in Texas. He’s very intelligent and extremely well-educated. His comment was:
Steven Weinberg the Nobel Prize winning physicist from Texas said “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
I wonder though if religious fanatics/fundamentalist like these people, really are good from the beginning?
Personally, I think a lot of the extreme religious wackos tend to be very narcissistic men who have a lot of charisma and use religion as a means of satisfying their needs for adoration and attention. They prey on empathetic people and use them, often hoodwinking them into their diabolical schemes. Religion probably makes these deeds more palatable. I shouldn’t say it’s always men who do this. For example, my husband’s narcissistic ex-wife similarly used religion to satisfy her narcissism. However, she chose a patriarchal religion to do it. Most western religions are pretty patriarchal.
I don’t know what Seth Welch’s beliefs are, other than what I read in the couple of articles I’ve seen about his case. He does have a Facebook page for his “ministry” (ETA: as of 2023, it is still up and functional. People have left awful comments on it.), but it doesn’t appear to be very popular. There must be a reason why he turned out the way he did. Maybe there will be more information as the case proceeds. I’m already seeing some indication that perhaps the other two children aren’t Tatiana’s. An article from a news station indicates that she was wrongly identified as the mother of the two living children.
I see that he’s also a Trump fan… or, at least he liked Trump’s book, The Art of the Deal.
Maybe a little less time spent reading Trump’s drivel and a little more time spent tending to your children is in order, Seth. Don’t you think?
And he has pictures of his farm and garden on his page, indicating that he does know how to nurture plants. It’s a pity he didn’t nurture his baby daughter. He also has a couple of Nubian goats whom he says probably would be turned into meat. Perhaps their lives will be spared, now that Farmer Seth is cooling his heels in the county lockup.
I know this isn’t funny, so I probably shouldn’t make subtle jokes… It’s just hard to fathom the ridiculousness of this situation. It’s truly a very sad case. I feel horrible for the other children whose lives are going to be upended by all of this.
On another note… I wonder when this photo will be turned into a meme…
Maybe by tomorrow? Hell, maybe I’ll make a meme out of it myself.
As of 2023…
Seth Welch and Tatiana Fusari are now divorced. In 2020, Seth Welch was convicted of murder and first degree child abuse in the death of Mary Welch. In October 2021, Tatiana Fusari was also convicted of murder and child abuse. Fusari claimed that she was abused and tortured by her ex husband, Seth Welch, and that made her unable to take care of their ten month old daughter, Mary. During her testimony, Tatiana recalled waking Seth up to feel Mary kick:
“He got mad at me because I wouldn’t let him sleep,” Fusari said. “So…he asked me ‘what the (expletive) was wrong with me’, and he rolled over to face me, and he started punching me in the face. And then I tried to roll over onto my right side, to face the wall, so he would just leave the front side of me alone, but he put his weight on me.”
The next day, Tatiana went into labor. She thought Mary was small because she was born prematurely. She didn’t think anything was wrong with the baby. When she was arrested in 2018, Tatiana Fusari didn’t disclose that she had been abused by Seth Welch. In October 2021, her story was very different. She claimed that she “needed to tell the truth” and that Seth raped her “day after day”. She also stated that Seth controlled her phone and timed her to see how long it took for her to get to and from her job. He printed out a master schedule and demanded that Tatiana stick to it to the minute.
Tatiana’s mother-in-law, Judy had mentioned that Mary didn’t look well, and asked Tatiana when she was going to take her to see a doctor. Tatiana stated that Seth thought Mary was fine. He didn’t trust doctors and didn’t want the “government involved in the family’s business.” When Tatiana brought up taking the baby to see a doctor:
“He smacked me across the face,” Fusari said. “He said ‘you know what the (expletive) I think about doctors. Do you want to keep bringing these people into our home?’ And I dropped it.”
Tatiana Fusari also alleged that Seth only wanted Mary fed with food grown on their farm. He would not allow her to be fed with store bought formula. Anytime she questioned him, he would beat her.
Prosecutors argued that Mary’s autopsy showed that she wasn’t feeding Mary. At the time of her death, Mary weighed just 8 pounds. Both Seth and Tatiana were sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for murdering Mary Welch.
This is a really sad case. It didn’t have to end the way it did. I hate to think of people rotting in prison for the rest of their lives, but in this case, it’s probably warranted. I would definitely say Seth Welch is where he needs to be. Tatiana Fusari may have very well been his victim, but she had a responsibility to act. It’s tragic that she didn’t ask for the help she obviously needed, for herself, and for her helpless, innocent baby girl.