A Michigan couple is facing charges for allegedly failing to take their critically ill newborn baby to a hospital because "God... makes no mistakes."
Rachel and Joshua Piland were warned following a February home birth with a midwife that their 4-day-old baby, Abigail, needed medical attention, according to police in Lansing.
Though the baby was jaundiced and coughing up blood, investigators say the couple — who belong to a Pentecostal-like church called Faith Tech — said they would “listen to sermons” rather than seek medical intervention for Abigail, the Lansing State Journal reported.
"Rachel declined to seek any medical treatment for Abigail, stating God makes no mistakes," Lansing Police Detective Peter Scaccia said during a hearing about the case. "She indicated to the midwife that the baby was fine."
When Rachel Piland's mother urged her daughter to call for help after noticing the baby's bleeding nose three days after the birth on Feb. 9, authorities say Piland again declined to do so.
Hours later, the baby was reportedly found dead in a bouncy seat.
Authorities say Joshua Piland attempted a single rescue breath before choosing to stop and instead pray for the baby and calling over fellow church members to do the same.
Police were allegedly never contacted by Rachel and Joshua Piland. Instead, Rachel Piland's brother called from California and told police a baby had died at the couple's home, Scaccia said.
When they arrived, police said they "went upstairs and found a baby that had passed away and three other people praying for it."
A medical examiner concluded following an autopsy that Abigail died from conditions related to jaundice and that "likely she would've been alive" if treated.
Both Joshua and Rachel Piland have been charged with a count each of involuntary manslaughter. They have since been released on $75,000 bond.
Both Pilands have requested a court-appointed attorney and are due in court Oct. 5.