Anna Ritchie is garnering all the wrong type of attention for her parenting skills. As a matter of fact it is said she resented being a parent at all. While her husband worked, she was tasked with taking care of young Austin Cooper, who was her stepson. That parenting dynamic proved detrimental and deadly, as Ritchie thought a fitting punishment for the child to be to soak his legs in 135 degree temperatures for upwards of 20 minutes.
For us to gain a true appreciation of the pain Austin suffered, a normal adult shower is taken at 105 degrees. The water was so hot and he was in there for so long that the skin began to peel from his legs.
Instead of taking him to the hospital, Anna Ritchie put Austin to bed with his injuries. When Austin’s father checked on him in the morning, he was no responsive. It was said he died of fluid and blood loss due to the burns, which if treated immediately, would have had a 95% chance of survival.
Anna Ritchie was originally charged with Child Endangerment, but after facts came to light, those charges have been upgraded to include murder. The father has not been charged as of yet, but will undboutedly have moments of reflection as to what he did and didn’t do to protect his son.
I pray for Austin and the loss that his family suffers. I pray for mother and father’s well being and peace of mind especially with regards to the culpability of the latter.