Monday, May 23, 2016

Custodial dad indicted in scalding death of 4-year-old son (Warren County, Ohio)

Evidence points toward ROBERT RITCHIE being a custodial father. There is mention of a step, but no mention of the mother at all. What happened to Mom, as often happens in these accounts, is simply ignored.

Dad facing charges in son’s scalding death

Published: Monday, May 23rd 2016, 11:23 am EDT
Updated: Monday, May 23rd 2016, 1:44 pm EDT

Posted by FOX19 Digital Media Staff

WARREN COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - The father of the 4-year-old Franklin boy who died after being placed in a bathtub of scalding water has been indicted, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell announced Monday.

Robert Ritchie is charged with involuntary manslaughter and endangering children for the March death of Austin Cooper. The boy's stepmother, Anna Ritchie, was charged with murder in the days after his death.

Robert is accused of failing to seek medical treatment for Cooper, thereby resulting in the child's death, according to Fornshell.

The Warren County Coroner's Office ruled the boy died from Hypovolemic shock - the loss of blood and fluid.

The boy should not have died, Fornshell said. If he had received medical treatment, he would have had a more than 95 percent survival chance.

Anna is charged with scalding her stepson to death. She pleaded not guilty to a six-count indictment including murder charges last month.

Franklin police say Anna admitted to dipping Cooper's legs in scalding water as punishment and sending him to bed early on March 15.

Fornshell said investigators believe the boy was in the 134-degree water in a bathtub for 20 to 25 minutes. His skin was falling off and he was bleeding when he was removed.

Anna then dressed the child in pajamas and socks before putting him to bed at 4:30 p.m.

No one checked on the boy until 9:30 a.m. the next morning, when his dad found him, Fornshell said.

In an interview with WDTN, Robert claimed his son was already in bed when he got home from work on March 15.

He said he found Austin unresponsive the next morning and called 911.

Anna's trial date was set for Sept. 26. She faces 15 years to life in prison.