Brother tried to save Inkster toddler, describes horrific scene

A 13-year-old boy tried to help his young brother after he fell into a tub full of scalding hot water.

- Anthony Rumford was just 20 months old when he climbed into a tub full of hot water. By the time his mother found him he was scalded all over and was struggling to breathe. His older brother tried to perform CPR, but it was too late. Now, his own mother is in police custody.

The father of 20-month-old Anthony Rumford, Bruce Perfect, has found himself asking one question on Tuesday, the day after his baby was found inside a jetted bathtub full of hot water.

"Where were you? That's my only question. Where were you?" Perfect has rolled that question around in his head all day. "It's horrifying because where was she at? There's no reason for her not to be there."

Inkster police arrived Monday night at the home on Avondale. The boy's mother was inside with the boy and three other children, including 13-year-old Brandon Rumford. He was sleeping when he woke up to her screams.

"She was like the baby, the baby. I was like where is he?" Brandon said. "I looked down and his skin was peeling. His eyes were closed and his face was turning red."

Brandon told FOX 2's Erika Erickson that Anthony likes to play in water and can easily escape his crib. Police are saying that it's possible the boy crawled upstairs and into the tub.

Brandon says his mother began performing CPR but began to panic. That's when he took over and the 911 operator on the other end of the line talked him through it.

"He started to breathe, his eyes started to open. I guess it wasn't enough," Brandon said.

Inkster police say Anthony's mother has a history with child protective services: her three children were taken away while she was still pregnant with Anthony - according to Perfect, it was for negligence.

Police say they're getting conflicting stories and rescue crews said the child was still in the tub when they arrived. The autopsy has been completed and the results are pending.

Inkster police say they will be pursuing criminal charges but say they're still determining what those charges will be. 


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