‘She was dead as a doornail,’ Michigan dad admits to calling lawyer before 911 in death of infant

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A disturbing 911 call was played during a preliminary hearing Wednesday for a Michigan couple accused of killing their child.

Seth Welch and Tatiana Fusari face murder charges in the August death of their 10-month-old daughter, Mary, who they allegedly starved to death.

In the 911 call, Welch told the dispatcher one of his children is dead. When the dispatcher asked why he thought that, he said "I have no idea. We just woke up, and she's dead."

The dispatcher went on to ask Welch what he was observing, and he said the child wan't breathing and there wasn't a heartbeat.

Then, the dispatcher asked Welch how long ago he found Mary, and he said "about an hour and a half. I called my lawyer... to 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."

In the call, Welch said he put Mary to bed at 3 p.m. on the day before and then first went to check on her at about 10 a.m. the next day. The dispatcher asked again about the delay and then asked if Welch thought the child was beyond help when he found her.

"Oh yeah," Welch told the dispatcher. "She was dead as a doornail."

The couple earlier told police the child had been sick but they didn't seek medical help for Mary for religious reasons and for fears of Child Protective Services. They also said they didn't trust medical services and the couple was aware the child was low in weight for at least a month before she died.

The two were bound over to circuit court for trial after Wednesday's hearing.