Police in Ohio have arrested a 25-year-old woman whose 4-year-old stepson died Wednesday hours after she allegedly placed both of his legs in scalding hot water to punish him, PEOPLE confirms.
A statement from police in Franklin, Ohio, alleges Anna Ritchie disciplined the unnamed boy on Tuesday night before putting him to bed.
According to police, the child stopped breathing during the night and was found unresponsive Wednesday morning. The boy was pronounced dead not long after being transported to a nearby emergency room, police say.
Police allege Ritchie dunked the boy’s legs in the blistering water for an unspecified length of time. The exact cause of his death has yet to be determined.
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Detectives have not commented on what allegedly prompted Richie to discipline her child.
Ritchie was arrested and charged with endangering children, with more charges possible depending on the outcome of the boy’s autopsy.
She is being held in the Warren County Jail without bail and is expected to enter a plea during a preliminary hearing scheduled for Friday morning.
Ritchie has yet to hire a defense attorney.