Death of boy, 9, whose body was found in Houston’s House of Horrors is ruled a Homicide
The three brother aged 7, 10 and 15 and skeletal remains were found at 3535 Green Crest Drive in Houston after police were asked to do a welfare check
Autopsy determined victim suffered multiple blunt force injuries before he was left to rot for a years in apartment with his three starving brothers
Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office found nine-year-old boy suffered multiple blunt force injuries and died by homicide
A 15-year-old boy called 911, saying his 9-year-old brother had been dead for a year and his skeletal remains were in a room next to his
The children were living in deplorable conditions and had likely been left abandoned for several months
A neighbor brought the siblings food and charged their cell phone after power was cut to their home, according to law enforcement officials
The children’s mother, and her boyfriend who were discovered 15 minutes away wereinterviewed by cops before being released
No charges have been filed but the Sheriff’s office said charges are pending
Next-door neighbor said she first noticed a foul odor coming from siblings’ apt 13 or 14 months ago and repeatedly complained about it to the complex management , to no avail
The death of a nine-year-old boy whose skeletal remains were found over the weekend inside a Houston apartment also housing his three starving brothers has been ruled a homicide.
The Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office on Tuesday ruled that the unnamed child suffered multiple blunt force injuries, resulting in his death by homicide.
It is unknown at this time whether the victim’s mother or her boyfriend, who were interviewed and released yesterday, would face any charges in connection with the child’s death.
A spokesperson for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that charges have not been filed against the mother and her boyfriend. While stating that the findings of the Institute of Forensic Science along with our investigation results will be presented to a prosecutor.
According to a report from the victim’s 15-year-old brother, he and his two surviving siblings had been living with his decomposing body in their apartment for a year. Shortly before the teen called 911 on Sunday, he texted his mother to tell her he could not take it anymore, it has emerged.
The call led to a series of disturbing revelations, including that the three children, ages 15, 10 and 7, had been left to fend for themselves for several months, relying on food donations from unsuspecting neighbors to survive, while sharing an apartment with the decomposing remains of their sibling, even as their mother and her boyfriend lived just in an apartment just 15 minute away.
Detectives with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office questioned the couple before releasing them Monday pending the outcome of the criminal investigation. Child welfare services in Texas have also launched an investigation into the horror find at the apartment complex on Houston’s west side.
Erica Chapman, who lives at CityParc II at West Oaks Apartments, said she was among the people who had been feeding the malnourished 15-year-old, not knowing he was living with his two younger brothers.
‘The first time I saw him, he was sleeping on one of the slides,’ Chapman told KTRK.
Chapman said she noticed that the teen’s mother was rarely home. She would occasionally show up bearing noodles, snacks and drinks. The abandoned teen would run downstairs to pick up the food and then return to the apartment. About six months ago, Chapman said she started offering the 15-year-old food, but she said he refused to accept cooked meals, only agreeing to take packaged snacks, fruit and pizza.
Trevor Thompson, another neighbor who had been helping out the boy, told the station the child was paranoid and feared getting poisoned.
Thompson said the teen knocked on his door one day, asking to borrow a charger. After that, the neighbor said he forged a bond with the boy and started offering him food.
Both Thompson and Chapman said they had no idea there were two younger children living with the 15-year-old. Thompson recalled that on one occasion he asked the teen if he liked the pizza he had given him.
‘And he asked, “What? The first pizza we had?”‘ Thompson recounted. ‘That made me wonder why would he say, “We.”‘
Chapman speculated that the teen may have concealed the existence of his brothers because he was afraid of being blamed, punished by his mother, or separated from his siblings.
The neighbors said they never called the authorities because they did not grasp the severity of the situation involving the teen, who was described as quiet and discreet.
‘I didn’t want to push him away by asking questions because I knew he was starving and needed food,’ Chapman said.
Alief Independent School District told KTRK that in 2019 and 2020, the school district filed truancy papers against the siblings’ mother because two of them were not attending school. The children were last enrolled in May 2020.
All three surviving siblings were taken to a hospital for treatment. They were said to be malnourished and injured, and the 7-year-old had broken bones in his face.
According to investigators, the 15-year-old said that the parents hadn’t been living at home for months, effectively abandoning the children to be on their own.
Most of the residents of the development, which is located about 20 miles from downtown Houston, were astonished that the horrifying situation could have gone on for so long without anyone noticing.
If an adult was bringing them food to eat, they must have seen that child,” one of them said.
Residents of the area said that management had been doing inspection rounds in the area for the last couple of weeks.
A neighbor living next door to the siblings in the apartment complex told KTRK she had no idea there was anyone occupying that unit, let alone children.
She had complained several times to the building’s management about the smell, but it is unclear if anyone had gone to the unit housing the siblings to inspect it.
She said that 13 or 14 months ago, she first noticed a vile odor wafting from what she thought was an abandoned apartment.
The smell was so bad, the woman said, that she would be forced to turn off her air conditioning to prevent it from entering her apartment through the vents.
When police arrived to the home on Sunday afternoon, they found the brother’s skeletal remains out in the open, KPRC-TV reported.
The two younger boys appeared to be malnourished and ‘showed signs of physical injury,’ according to law enforcement officials.
‘It appears they were basically fending for each other,’ Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters.
‘The older sibling was doing the best he could to take care of the others.’
In an update Sunday, Sheriff Gonzalez revealed that while the children’s mother and her boyfriend have been located nearby and interviewed by homicide detectives.
On Monday, Gonzalez announced that the couple were released without being arrested or charged with any crime.
No explanation was provided for the decision to release the pair at this time. Adding that : ‘This is an active investigation, with charges pending.’
Authorities have not said whether or not they were looking for the children’s biological father.
‘Connecting all the dots, it seems they were in there while the body was deteriorating,’ the sheriff said.
HCSO is now investigating to determine the circumstances that led to the death of the minor and how long the kids had been alone.
‘To ensure the safety of the children, the Department of Family and Protective Services is seeking emergency custody of the three boys,’ the agency said in a statement on Monday.
‘Child Protective Services does have history with the family, but there was no active CPS investigation at the time the children were discovered alone in their apartment.’
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is seeking emergency custody of the 3 boys.
A department spokeswoman confirmed CPS has a history with the family, adding that there was no active investigation at the time.