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4-year-old boy dies after stepmom allegedly scalds him with hot water as punishment

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A 4-year-old boy died after his stepmother allegedly dipped him in hot water as a punishment, police said.

Anna Ritchie, 25, was arrested Wednesday for child endangerment, police in Franklin, Ohio said.

WLWT reports police were called to her home that morning after receiving the report of a child not breathing. The boy was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

According to a police news release, detectives discovered that Ritchie place the boy’s legs in “scalding hot water as a punishment” the night before. He was put to bed and found not breathing the following morning.

“There’s nothing a 4-year-old could do to deserve a punishment like this,” said Franklin Police Chief Russ Whitman. “Our officers, our detectives and myself, we all have kids and some of us have grandkids now. Our hearts and prayers go out to the child’s family. Nobody should have to go through something like this.”

Ritchie was arrested and held on a $100,000 bond. She was scheduled to appear in court Friday morning.

Ritchie has been charged with child endangerment.

Additional charges could be filed since the coroner ruled the boy’s death a homicide.