In August, Michigan parents Seth Welch and Tatiana Fusari woke up to find their 10-month-old daughter, Mary, dead.
The parents knew their daughter had appeared underweight for about a month, but didn’t get her medical help because Welch believed “doctors were untrustworthy,” Fox 10 reported.
And when the father found Mary not breathing, he didn’t immediately get her medical help.
Instead, he contacted his lawyer, a recording of his initial 911 call released on Wednesday revealed.
Welch waited over an hour after he discovered his daughter to contact police, he said on the 911 call. The father said he wanted to speak with a lawyer first:
“I have no idea. We just woke up and she’s dead… 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.”
When the dispatcher asked if the infant was beyond saving, Welch responded:
“Oh yeah. She was dead as a doornail.”
Paramedics arrived at the residence to find 10-month-old Mary deceased. An autopsy later determined that the infant died from malnutrition and dehydration, Fox 17 reports.
Welch and Fusari were charged with murder and felony child abuse following their daughter’s death.
The father has denied that they didn’t feed their daughter and insisted they “were feeding her chicken, potatoes, apples, cheese. We were giving her the good stuff,” according to Fox 10.
But according to Child Protective Services, Welch was responsible for watching Mary the day before she died, because the mother was working all day.
Though she was gone for hours, Welch “never gave Mary food, water or a diaper change during this time.” He claimed the infant just slept.
The couple have two other children, ages two and four, who are now in the custody of family members.