Michigan father accused of starving infant to death called attorney before calling 911

911 call played for jury

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KENT COUNTY, Mich. – A tragic case is unfolding in west Michigan and it's making headlines all across the country.

Parents allegedly allowed their 10-month-old baby to starve to death. They said they didn't consult a doctor because of their religious beliefs.

A 911 call played in court revealed a level of callousness as the father contacted a lawyer before calling 911 upon finding his child dead.

When police arrived to Seth and Tatiana Welch's Cedar Springs home in August, they found 10-month-old Mary dead.

She weighed only eight pounds and a medical examiner testified that it took weeks and months of starvation for the child's body to give out.

Allegedly, after finding the baby dead, Welch called a lawyer first. It took him 90 minutes to get 911 on the phone and then he described his dead daughter as "as dead as a doornail."

The Welch's attorney tried to convince the court Welch and his wife thought their baby was fine. There is testimony that both parents believed that their child was fine, skinny but not sickly.

The judge bound both Welch's over for trial on felony murder and child abuse.

"I want to reiterate the fact that this baby did not die because of one missed meal -- this is about being dead," the judge said.

In 2014 a doctor alerted child protective services because when their oldest child was born the child tested positive for THC.

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Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.