The skeletal remains of a child and three surviving siblings that appear to have been abandoned were found in an apartment in the Houston area, a sheriff said.
One of the children, a 15-year-old, called the Harris County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday afternoon and told authorities his 9-year-old brother had been dead for a year and the body was in the area. inside the apartment, the office said in a statement.
MPs responded and found the teenager and two other siblings aged 10 and 7 living alone in the apartment, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters. The other child’s skeletal remains were also located.
“It looks like the remains have been there for an extended period of time. And I insist on the duration,” Gonzalez said.
MPs said the remains appeared to match the age provided by the 15-year-old, reports CBS Houston affiliate KHOU-TV.
The teenager told lawmakers that his parents had not lived in the apartment with him and his two younger siblings for several months, KHOU said.
The sheriff said it also appeared that the surviving children were “getting along for each other”, with the older brother looking after the younger two. It was not clear if any of the children attended school.
The younger ones appeared to be malnourished and had physical injuries, he said. The three siblings were taken to hospital for assessment and treatment.
“In our experience, it’s always best not to speculate and let the investigation take its course, but a very disturbing set of circumstances, so we definitely want answers for these kids,” KHOU said, citing Gonzalez. .
The mother of the children and her boyfriend were later found, authorities said. Both were interrogated and released, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said On Monday.
The cause of death of the young child will be determined by the medical examiner.
A representative of the apartment management company refused to speak with a journalist from KHOU on the spot.
Neighbors expressed shock and disbelief when they learned of the children.
Kayla Williams told the Houston Chronicle that she has two children but has no plans to tell them what happened. “I don’t need to put this in their heads,” she said. “It’s crazy.”
A neighbor who only wanted to be identified as Becca told KHOU that she was devastated to learn of this situation. She said it hit her especially because she was a mom.
“I have a 21 year old and an 11 year old and I can never imagine leaving them abandoned anywhere,” Becca said.