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A Florida mother and stepfather were indicted on Aug. 31 on first-degree murder charges after a 6-year-old child died in April.
Anthony Rouse, who was only 6 at the time of his death, was abused repeatedly by Tre Seymore, 27, and Alize Seymore, 25, who allegedly coerced and even rewarded two other children in the same house to abuse the child, officials told FOX 13.
An investigation into the couple began after officials found the child drowning in a Winter Haven, Florida house on April 22. The married couple allegedly told police they sent Rouse to take a bath as a punishment for soiling himself.
Tre didn’t check on the child for at least 20 minutes and told authorities the bathroom door was locked upon trying to open it, officials said.
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Anthony Rouse (M), who was 6 at the time of his death, was abused repeatedly by Tre Seymore (L), 27, and Alize Seymore (R), 25, who allegedly coerced and even rewarded two other children in the same house to abuse the child, officials told FOX 13. (Polk County Sheriff’s Office and FOX 13.)
According to authorities, Tre told detectives that the child was found face down in the water when he eventually broke into the bathroom and called 911.
The 6-year-old didn’t regain consciousness at the hospital and was declared dead on April 24.
Tre and Alize were indicted under charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse by aggravated battery, aggravated manslaughter of a child, tampering in felony life capital proceeding, child abuse, cause minor to become delinquent/dependent/needy.
A search warrant executed at the Seymore’s home revealed there wasn’t electricity or windows in the bathroom and the children’s bedroom didn’t have power, officials said.
Tre allegedly told authorities he turned off the breaker to the children’s rooms so that there wouldn’t be any power for them. During the search, authorities noticed that the children’s bedrooms were locked from the outside.
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An investigation into the couple began after officials found the child drowning in a Winter Haven, Florida house on April 22. The married couple allegedly told police they sent Rouse to take a bath as a punishment for soiling himself. (FOX 13)
When officials entered, clothes soiled with urine and feces were found in one of the bedrooms, and the closet had feces on the wall.
A dog cage was also allegedly found by detectives in the garage that was used to “punish” the 6-year-old, where he was locked inside.
An autopsy revealed signs of abuse, and scars from prior physical abuse were seen on the boy.
Two other children who lived at the house allegedly told officials they were rewarded with candy and food for “beating up” the 6-year-old child and placing him in the dog cage. They also said that Tre took the victim “swimming” in the bathroom as a punishment, adding that “swimming” was the stepfather’s version of “drowning” and he would hold “the victim’s head underwater.”
One of the children allegedly told officials they saw Tre place the victim’s head underwater, take him out, and attempted to perform CPR.
The child also said that Alize threatened to choke him if he told police the truth about what Tre did to the 6-year-old, deputies said.
Text messages between the couple released by authorities also discussed the 6-year-old.
April 15, 2023 12:58 a.m.:
Alize: “Couldn’t get him out and honestly don’t want him out.”
Tre: “Why can’t you just do it the right way until you can sign him over to a agency, What is the point of compromising EVERYTHING just for a sick twisted way of revenge?, It serves no purpose and it doesn’t work.”
Alize: “Man boy it was ok wen u was doing it tho, Gtfoh.”
April 21, 2023 5:14 p.m.:
Alize: “I wanna put him for adoption”
Dad speaks out
The child’s biological father, Andre Rouse, said his son was always energetic and playful.
“It’s really tough to digest and keep in your head,” Rouse said. “I told them multiple times I would take him.”
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The child’s biological father, Andre Rouse, said his son was always energetic and playful. (FOX 13)
The couple was arrested in May after Polk County Sheriff’s deputies obtained felony warrants before they were recently indicted. Florida Department of Children and Families took the other two children into their custody.
Adam Sabes is a writer for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter @asabes10.