Police: Stepmom of scalded boy who died tried to hide burns


FRANKLIN, Ohio (AP) — A detective says the stepmother of a 4-year-old Ohio boy found dead at home told police she’d put his legs in extra-hot water as punishment because he didn’t like baths, then tried to hide his burns.

The death of Austin Cooper earlier this month was ruled a homicide.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News (http://bit.ly/1PvSvqz ) reports a Franklin detective testified Friday that Anna Ritchie told police she put ointment on the boy, then socks to hide burns. The investigator says Ritchie admitted later hearing Austin crying but ignored his distress and told his father not to check on him that night.

A not-guilty plea was entered earlier for the 25-year-old Ritchie on a child endangering charge. A message was left for Ritchie’s attorney Friday evening.

Now a grand jury will consider the case.

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Information from: The JournalNews of Hamilton, http://www.journal-news.com/cgi-bin/liveique.acgi$sch=jnfront?jnfront