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'Hell is too good for them': Mom, husband indicted for murder, abuse of her 6-year-old son; cops say victim was tortured, locked in dog cage, drowned in bathtub
Image source: YouTube screenshot

'Hell is too good for them': Mom, husband indicted for murder, abuse of her 6-year-old son; cops say victim was tortured, locked in dog cage, drowned in bathtub

A Florida mother and her husband have been indicted on charges that they murdered and abused her 6-year-old son; police said the victim was tortured, locked in a dog cage, and finally drowned in a bathtub.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

What are the details?

Investigators said Alize and Tre Seymore in April reported that 6-year-old Anthony Rouse intentionally drowned himself in a bathtub, WTSP-TV reported.

"The parents told us that he committed suicide," Polk Sheriff Grady Judd told the station. "Well, no, he didn't."

WTSP said detectives found a horrific scene after getting a search warrant for the house in question.

"They found no electricity. They found windows that were covered. They found the dog cage where the 6-year-old was locked up and held there," Judd told the station. "I can't explain to you the horror that this 6-year-old child withstood. And it was all because of the mother and stepfather; they obviously didn't want him around."

The sheriff's office said in a Wednesday news release that the couple also coerced and even rewarded two other children in the house to take part in abusing the victim.

"That anyone could torture a child, anyone could lock a child in a dog cage and then encourage the older children to emotionally and physically abuse the child, it's unimaginable to me," Judd added to WTSP.

More from the sheriff's office:

When deputies arrived at the crime scene on Sun Burst Road in Winter Haven on April 22, 2023, the Seymores told them that the victim was sent to take a bath as punishment for soiling himself. Tre did not check on the victim for at least 20 minutes, and when he went to open the bathroom door he said it was locked. After breaking into the bathroom, he told detectives, they found the victim face down in the water. They called 911.

The victim did not regain consciousness, and he was declared deceased in the hospital on April 24, 2023.

During a search warrant at the home, detectives noted that the bathroom did not have electricity, nor windows to allow in any light. The bedrooms where the children slept also did not have electricity. Tre admitted that he turned off the breaker to those rooms so that there would not be any electricity for the kids. The kids' bedroom doors also locked from the outside. Clothing soiled with urine and feces was in one of the bedrooms; the closet in that bedroom also had feces on the wall. Detectives found a dog cage in the garage, which they later discovered during their investigation was used to "punish" the victim by locking him inside it. A count of medications prescribed to the victim revealed that they were not being given to the victim.

The sheriff's office added that the victim's medical records and autopsy results showed evidence of scars from prior physical abuse — and that he had multiple open wounds when he was taken to the hospital.

Detectives said two other children in the house — ages 7 and 10 — told them during interviews that that they were rewarded with candy and food if they participated in "beating up" the victim and putting him in the dog cage, the sheriff's office sad.

The children added that Tre Seymore would take the victim "swimming" in the bathroom as punishment, and that "swimming" meant "drowning," which meant "holding the victim's head under water," the sheriff's office said.

One child told detectives he saw Tre Seymore holding the victim's head under the water and then pulling the victim out of the water and performing CPR, the sheriff's office said, adding that the child also told detectives that Alize Seymore threatened to choke him if he told the truth about what Tre Seymore did to the victim.

Detectives also found text messages on the suspects' cell phones that described abusing the victim — as well as photos and videos of the abuse, including the victim being locked in the dog cage.

While the couple was arrested in April on child abuse and neglect charges, WTSP said a grand jury now has indicted them on first-degree murder charges. The couple also was indicted for aggravated child abuse by aggravated battery, aggravated manslaughter of a child, child abuse, and other charges, the sheriff's office said.

"Jail is too good for them. Hell is too good for them," Judd told WPST. "But that's the only option we have."

The suspects' next court appearance is scheduled for early October, the station said.

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Dave Urbanski

Dave Urbanski

Sr. Editor, News

Dave Urbanski is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@DaveVUrbanski →