It is as horrible as it sounds. Four-year-old Austin Cooper was allegedly killed by his stepmother after scalding him in water on Wednesday April 20.
His father, Robert Ritchie III, found his stiff body in his pajamas and immediately called 911 and told the dispatcher, “I think my son died”. The dispatcher asked him if he try CPR on the child, to which Robert cried, “He is stiff as a board.” After his son was taken to the Atrium Medical Center, in Middletown, Ohio, he was pronounced dead due to shock from blood and fluid loss.
Stepmom, Anna Ritchie had said that the boy died from a hot bath, but she later confessed to putting him in scalding water; a temperature above 134 degrees Fahrenheit (57 degrees Celsius) for at least 25 minutes. David Fornshell, the Warren County prosecutor said, ““Just to be in that tub for a minute or two would have to be the most excruciating pain. As a father, it makes you angry that somebody can do that to a child.”
By the time little Austin was taken out of the water, his body had substantial damage to the point of having his skin hanging. Ritchie, instead of taking him to medical services, put on his pajama and put him to bed early. Reports say that Austin could have saved his life if he would had received medical attention on time.
The little boy´s grandmother, Sheri Gredig spoke to the press describing Anna Ritchie as “pure evil”. “She just acts like she didn’t do anything wrong,” Gredig said. “Like she spanked him.”
Anna Ritchie has been charged of murder, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault, and endangering children, and faces a sentence that goes from 15 years to life.