Six-year-old Anthony Rouse was discovered submerged in a bathtub in a Winter Haven, Florida residence on April 22, 2023. According to the child’s mother, Alize Seymore, and stepfather, Tre Seymore, they initially informed law enforcement that the child had taken his own life.
In the beginning, the couple informed authorities that Anthony had been instructed to take a bath in order to clean himself up after an incident of soiling. After a span of 20 minutes, Tre reported to the police that he went to inspect the child, only to find the bathroom door locked. The stepfather asserted that he managed to open the door using a fork and encountered Anthony in a drowning situation in the bathtub.
As part of the inquiry into the child’s demise, a search warrant was carried out at the residence. Law enforcement officers discovered the dwelling to be in an extremely poor state. The bedrooms and bathroom allocated to the children within the household lacked electrical power.
The doorknobs to the children’s rooms had been altered to enable locking and unlocking from the exterior. Additionally, the windows in these bedrooms were obscured. Notably, one of the bedrooms was cluttered with clothing tainted by both urine and feces.
In the garage, authorities uncovered a substantial dog enclosure. Two older children residing in the same house disclosed to officials that they received incentives for mistreating Anthony and coercing him into the cage. Correspondence via text messages exchanged between Alize and Tre revealed that the child was routinely confined within the cage for extended periods, often spanning several hours.
One of the other youngsters in the household reported that his mother had issued a threat to strangle him if he disclosed the truth regarding what transpired with Anthony. According to this child’s account, Tre submerged Anthony’s head underwater and attempted CPR afterward, but his efforts were in vain.
The post-mortem examination unveiled numerous indications of prior maltreatment.
On August 31, 2023, Tre and Alize Seymore were formally charged with first-degree murder, along with multiple allegations linked to the mistreatment of Anthony Rouse.
Anthony’s biological father, Andre Rouse, expressed his lack of awareness regarding the torment his son had endured. He expressed his desire that someone had spoken up and emphasized that he had extended multiple offers to take custody of the child.