HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – The mother of three children who were found living in an abandoned apartment with the skeletal remains of their 9-year-old sibling has been questioned and released, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office confirms.
The gruesome discovery was made Sunday afternoon at an apartment complex located at 3535 Green Crest, near Addicks Clodine and the Westpark Tollway.
According to HCSO, deputies were sent around 3:15 p.m. to conduct a welfare check at the apartment after a 15-year-old called and said his younger brother had been dead for a year and was in the next room.
When deputies arrived, they found the teen with two of his younger brothers, ages 10 and 7, living in horrid conditions, and sadly, evidence of what the teen described.
“The deceased one, or the skeletal remains, we believe at this point is going to be another juvenile, possibly a sibling that passed away,” a somber Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. “It appears the skeletal remains have been there for an extended period of time.”
Gonzalez said the 15-year-old told them his parents have not lived in the apartment for months.
Many questions remain, including who was feeding the children and who was paying the rent at the apartment.
“I haven’t been told they were necessarily locked in, but at that age, it appears they were basically fending for each other,” Gonzalez explained.
Gonzalez said the children appeared to be malnourished and showed signs of physical injury.
Neighbors said there were no obvious signs that anything was wrong.
“We never smelled anything coming out of that apartment. Never seen anyone open the door as well, so it’s kind of a shock, said Bodiul Alam. “Time to time, we’ve seen a couple with a kid come in and out and most likely, it was like six months ago, and nothing recently at all.”
The brothers were transported to the hospital to be assessed and treated for their injuries. They are now in the custody of Child Protective Services and Gonzalez said everyone is working together to provide the boys the support they need.
CPS released the following statement:
“Child Protective Services is currently investigating alongside law enforcement to ensure the immediate safety of the children. The children are being evaluated at an area hospital and the Department of Family and Protective Services is seeking emergency custody of all three boys.”
The mother’s boyfriend was located with her and was also questioned and released. It is not known if he is the father of any of the children.
There are no new developments this morning regarding the scene on Green Crest. Mother and her boyfriend were located, interviewed and released. CPS is assisting with the children. Our investigation remains on-going. No charges have been filed. #HouNews— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) October 25, 2021
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services left a “Notice of Removal of Children” at the apartment regarding the three surviving boys. The agency confirms they have a history with the family, but did not have any active investigations before the recent discovery.
When asked why there were no charges filed against the parents, deputies would not comment on specifics, only saying the case was under investigation.