She resented being 4-year-old’s caretaker and it ended in tragic bath, prosecutor says

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Source:   —  April 19, 2016, at 7:51 PM

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that he sobbed into the phone to the police dispatcher: "I think my son died."The dispatcher asked Ritchie to attempt resuscitating the 4-year-old.

She resented being 4-year-old’s caretaker and it ended in tragic bath, prosecutor says

On a morning latest month, Robert Ritchie III awoke to discover that his son wasn't breathing. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that he sobbed into the phone to the police dispatcher: "I think my son died."

The dispatcher asked Ritchie to attempt resuscitating the 4-year-old. "He is stiff as a board," Ritchie cried.

His paternal instincts were right. Upon arrival at the hospital in Atrium, Ohio, Austin Derreck Cooper was pronounced deceased of shock from blood and fluid loss.

On Monday, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell announced at a press conference that Austin's twenty-five-year-old stepmother, Anna Ritchie, has been indicted on charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault and endangering children.

Robert Ritchie had told police that the latest he saw of his son was before his wife went to give him a "hot bath."

Prosecutors presently believe that "hot" was a grotesque understatement - the water in which Anna Ritchie placed Austin, they allege, was scalding.

Fornshell told reporters on Monday that Ritchie was resentful of being the primary caretaker of a baby who wasn't biologically hers (she and Robert assumed guardianship of Austin in January). Ritchie allegedly considered the scalding bath a punishment, holding Austin in waters of approximately one hundred thirty-four degrees for up to 25 minutes.

"Just to be in that tub for a min or two would've to be the most excruciating pain," Fornshell said. "As a father, it makes you mad that somebody can do that to a child."

By the time Austin was allowed out of the water, "half of his body was substantially burned to the point that the skin'south hanging on the body."

His skin was falling off of his legs, prosecutors said, and he was bleeding significantly. But they allege that Ritchie didn't seek medical treatment, and instead placed him in pajamas and socks and keep him to bed. Had Austin been hospitalized immediately, there is a high likelihood that he'd have survived, Fornshell said.

According to the Associated Press, an investigator in Franklin, Ohio, where the family lived, said Ritchie could hear Austin crying through the night. She allegedly ignored him and told his father not to check on him.

Seth Cantwell, an attorney for the accused, declined to comment on the case to the AP on Monday.

Austin'south grandmother, Sheri Gredig, told WCPO that she didn't think Ritchie showed repentance during a Ct appearance last month.

"She just acts love she didn't do anything wrong," Gredig said. "Like she spanked him."

Her voice cracking, she said: "Anna Ritchie is pure evil. She should never be allowed to walk the streets again. I wish her to obtain the death penalty. She took my baby? I want her."

If Ritchie is convicted on the murder charge, she faces fifteen years to life imprisonment.

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