A four-year-old Ohio child died after his stepmother put him in scalding hot bath water as punishment, WLWT5 reports.
Anna Ritchie, 25, is under arrest for allegedly putting Austin Cooper’s legs in scalding water and sending him to bed. The next morning, the child was found unresponsive and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“There’s nothing a 4-year-old could do to deserve a punishment like this,” Franklin Police Chief Russ Whitman told WLWT. “Our officers, our detectives and myself, we all have kids and some of us have grandkids now. Our hearts and prayers go out to the child’s family. Nobody should have to go through something like this.”
Ritchie has been charged with child endangering and is being held on a $100,000 bond while authorities determine the cause of death.
“It’s heartbreaking. I can’t believe that baby lost its life,” neighbor Maureen Wright told the station. “It’s just disturbing how somebody could actually hurt a 4-year-old like that, let alone any child and to just do it and be OK while they’re doing it and to know that baby is just screaming for help and there was nobody there to help him.”
Watch a report on the case, as posted WLWT, here: