TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Winter Haven couple has been indicted for first-degree murder in the April death of a 6-year-old boy in their care, authorities said.
Tre Seymore, 27, and Alize Seymore, 25, were indicted by a Polk County grand jury on Thursday for first-degree murder, as well as several other charges, including child abuse and causing a minor to become delinquent or dependent, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office opened an investigation on April 22 after the agency responded to a reported drowning at a home on Sun Burst Road and found the child unconscious in a bathroom.
The boy never regained consciousness and died two days later.
The Seymores allegedly told deputies the boy was sent there to take a bath after he urinated on himself. Around 20 minutes later, Tre Seymore went to check on the boy, but the bathroom door was locked.
According to the couple, Tre Seymore was eventually able to break into the bathroom, and found the boy lying face down in bathwater.
The sheriff’s office said medical records and a subsequent autopsy showed signs of abuse, including multiple open wounds and scars from the past.
Deputies obtained a search warrant to enter the Seymore’s residence and found clothing soiled with feces and urine, as well as feces on the wall of a bedroom closet. They noted that the kids’ bedrooms did not have electricity and their doors were locked from the outside. The bathroom was also missing electricity and had no windows to let the light in.
A dog cage was located in the garage. Upon investigation, it was learned the child had been locked inside it as a form of punishment. The affidavit also claims the child was not given a number of medications that had been prescribed to him.
Two children in the home, ages 7 and 10, told investigators they were rewarded with candy and food if they helped put the victim in the cage and participated in beatings. One said Tre Seymore took the boy “swimming” in the bathroom to punish him, and that “swimming” meant “drowning” which meant holding his head underwater. The child said he saw Seymore pull the boy’s head out of the water and perform CPR. He said Alize threatened to choke him if he told anyone, according to the sheriff’s office.
The agency obtained a search warrant to gain access to the Seymores’ cell phones and found a number of concerning texts between the couple along with photos and videos of the abuse and the victim being locked in the cage
On April 7, Alize wrote “VICTIM man”
Tre replied, “What now?”
“I hate him,” Alize responded.
On April 12, Tre texted: “Why keep putting him in the garage if you’re going to constantly have her over, Wtf is wrong with you alize [sic], Can you please f—– think for once in your life.”
Alize wrote back: “It was only tonight, I’ll take him out. U put him in baby.”
She added: “She don’t even know he here he ain’t speak all day. I’ve been talking to him.”
In a text from April 15, Alize wrote, “Couldn’t get him out and honestly don’t want him out.”
Tre replied, “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 said: “Man boy it was ok wen u was doing it tho, Gtfoh.”
Then on April 21, Alize texted: “Street runner (Song by Rob Wave) is sooooo important to me. It makes me cry about u it’s so relatable to me. Frfr especially the girls whole part in the song everything she sings. If I ever killed VICTIM it would be to that song.”
Tre wrote back: “Bruh”
To which Alize responded: “I wanna put him for adoption.”
In May, detectives obtained felony warrants for the couple, charging them with aggravated child abuse, child abuse [for encouraging the other children to abuse the victim], tampering with a witness and causing a child to be dependent [due to the fact that DCF had to take the remaining children into custody].
They were arrested in Alachua County and booked into the local jail before being transferred to the Polk County jail, where they remained until their recent indictments.
On Thursday, they were indicted by a Polk County grand jury for 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, according to the sheriff’s office.