WINTER HAVEN, FL – In a shocking case of child abuse, a Florida couple, Tre Seymore, 27, and Alize Seymore, 25, have been indicted on first-degree murder charges. The indictment, issued on August 31, comes in the wake of the death of a six-year-old child, Anthony Rouse, in April. The child was reportedly subjected to repeated abuse by the couple, who also allegedly manipulated and incentivized two other children in the same household to participate in the abuse.
The investigation into the couple’s actions was triggered when authorities discovered the child in a drowning state in a Winter Haven, Florida home on April 22. The couple reportedly informed the police that they had sent Rouse to bathe as a punishment for soiling himself. Tre Seymore did not check on the child for at least 20 minutes and claimed that the bathroom door was locked when he tried to open it.
According to the authorities, Tre Seymore informed detectives that he found the child face down in the water when he finally broke into the bathroom and called 911. The child did not regain consciousness at the hospital and was pronounced dead on April 24.
The couple was indicted on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse by aggravated battery, aggravated manslaughter of a child, tampering in felony life capital proceeding, child abuse, and causing a minor to become delinquent/dependent/needy.
A search warrant executed at the Seymore’s residence revealed that there was no electricity or windows in the bathroom, and the children’s bedroom was without power. Tre Seymore reportedly told authorities that he had turned off the breaker to the children’s rooms to deprive them of power. During the search, authorities noticed that the children’s bedrooms were locked from the outside.
Upon entering, authorities found clothes soiled with urine and feces in one of the bedrooms, and feces on the closet wall. A dog cage, allegedly used to punish the six-year-old, was found in the garage. An autopsy revealed signs of abuse, and scars from prior physical abuse were visible on the boy.
Two other children living in the house reportedly told officials they were rewarded with candy and food for assaulting the six-year-old child and placing him in the dog cage. They also claimed that Tre Seymore would take the victim “swimming” in the bathroom as a form of punishment, which involved holding the victim’s head underwater.
One of the children reportedly told officials they saw Tre Seymore submerge the victim’s head underwater, remove him, and then attempt to perform CPR. The child also claimed that Alize Seymore threatened to choke him if he revealed the truth about Tre Seymore’s actions to the police.
Text messages between the couple discussing the six-year-old were also released by authorities. The child’s biological father, Andre Rouse, described his son as always being energetic and playful. The couple was arrested in May after Polk County Sheriff’s deputies obtained felony warrants. The Florida Department of Children and Families took the other two children into their custody.