When Robert Richie III went to bed one night, he never expected that he would wake up to a terrible news in the morning. He found his four-year-old son stiff and cold and unresponsive.
On his phone call to the police dispatcher, he was sobbing.
“I think my son died,” he cried. “He is stiff as a board.”
They rushed to the Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, Ohio, where Robert’s suspicions were confirmed. Austin Derreck Cooper was pronounced dead of shock from blood and fluid loss.
The reason for his death? His evil step mother.
Robert told the police that the last time he saw his son was before his wife, 25-year-old Anna Richie, gave him a hot bath.
Prosecutors believe that 25-year-old stepmother placed Austin in a scalding bath as punishment.
When the four-year-old was finally let out of the water, “half of his body was substantially burned to the point that the skin’s hanging on the body.”
Prosecutors said that the boy’s skin was falling off his leg and was bleeding significantly, according to a Washington Post story.
Prosecutors also allege that, instead of seeking medical help, the stepmother dressed him in pajamas and socks and put him to bed.
“Just to be in that tub for a minute or two would have to be the most excruciating pain,” said David Fornshell, Warren County prosecutor. “As a father, it makes you angry that somebody can do that to a child.”
An investigator in Franklin also said that Richie could hear his son crying during the night, but she said not to check up on him and pay him any mind.
The four-year-old’s grandmother Sheri Gredig told reporters, “She just acts like she didn’t do anything wrong, like she [just] spanked him.
“Anna Ritchie is pure evil. She should never be allowed to walk the streets again. … I want her to get the death penalty. She took my baby? I want her.”
Anna Ritchie has been indicted on charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault and endangering children.
READ: Babysitter douses baby’s arm with scalding water to clean him
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