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A dead child was found stuffed in a tote bag in a Texas motel room — and the body is believed to be a missing 6-year-old Houston boy, according to police and reports.
The boy, discovered Tuesday inside the bag at a Best Western in Jasper, is believed to be Samuel Olson, who was reported missing Thursday by his father and his girlfriend, Theresa Balboa, Houston Assistant Police Chief Heather Morris told reporters at a press conference Wednesday.
“Our hearts go out to the family members of Samuel,” Morris said. “We are very saddened by the events that have brought us here today.”
Balboa, the girlfriend of Samuel’s father, Dalton Olson, has been charged with tampering with evidence in the active investigation and may face additional charges, Morris said.
Balboa has been talking with investigators and “that’s going to be ongoing,” Morris told reporters, adding that a medical examiner will confirm the dead child’s identity.
The body was discovered in a tote bag at the motel, KTVT reported. KTRK identified the location as a Best Western in Jasper.
A medical examiner will confirm the dead child’s identity, but Morris said detectives believe the boy — who was set to turn 6 over weekend — was the victim. It’s unclear how he died, Morris said.
Cops responded to a southwest Houston home on May 27 and met Olson, and Balboa, who said she was told by a man she believed to be a police officer that she’d go to jail unless she handed over the boy, Morris said.
Investigators found “inconsistencies” in Balboa’s statements, leading them to obtain a search warrant for her apartment. The evidence found at the home, including a 2012 Dodge Avenger that was towed away, will be processed for “forensic value,” Morris said.
Samuel was last seen at Holbrook Elementary School on April 30, weeks before he was reported missing. The boy may have been missing since that time, Morris said.
“Other than that, we don’t have information yet as far as when was the last time he was actually seen,” Morris told reporters.
An anonymous tip led cops to the hotel where Balboa was found in a hotel room with the child’s body.
“It is absolutely heartbreaking,” she told reporters. “And as far as a motive, we do not have a motive at this point in time.”
Balboa was out on bond at the time of her arrest for allegedly attacking her boyfriend She was charged in November with assault of a family member-impeding breathing, Morris said.
Balboa was being held in Jasper County Jail, Morris said. Investigators were also talking to Olson, although she stopped short of characterizing him as a suspect in the case.
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