The five-year-old whose decaying body was found in a plastic bin in an East Texas A motel room died of blunt force trauma to the head, an autopsy revealed, and his death was officially declared homicide.
The Harris County Institute of Forensic Science in Houston, which conducted the autopsy, confirmed the boy’s identity is Samuel Olson, who would have turned six on May 29.
Theresa Raye Balboa, 29, who was the girlfriend of Samuel’s father Dalton, is the prime suspect in Olson’s death and has already been accused of tampering with evidence, a human corpse.
Balboa was arrested on June 1 when police found her at a Best Western motel in Jasper, Texas, with Olson’s body, which was tucked into a plastic bag. Police believe the boy had been dead since May 10.
Balboa reported Olson’s disappearance from her Houston suburban home on May 27, and officials said they believed she was headed to Louisiana when she was found in the motel 135 miles away.
Samuel Olson’s death was declared blunt force trauma to the head, according to an autopsy
Balboa pictured with Samuel’s father Dalton Olson before the boy’s body was found and she was arrested in connection with his death
Samuel Olson was last seen by a family member on May 8, when his grandmother spent the weekend
Theresa Balboa (in mug) will face multiple charges over the death of her boyfriend’s five-year-old son
During Monday’s Balboa court hearing, prosecutors said further charges will be added, but did not say which charges, when and how many more.
Balboa’s bond was also raised to $ 600,000 in total for Samuel’s death and an alleged separate assault six months before the child’s disappearance.
Andrea Beall, a prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, said a murder or capital murder investigation is ongoing in the case.
CHRONOLOGY OF THE SAMUEL OLSON CASE:
April 30: Samuel Olson, 5, last seen by someone outside his family
May 8-9: Samuel’s paternal grandmother Tonya Olson says she spent the weekend with her grandson
May 10: Theresa Balboa, girlfriend of Samuel’s father, Dalton Olson, reportedly called a roommate to tell him that Samuel was dead. The two would put the body in their bathtub
May 13: The roommate and Balboa wrap the body in duct tape and place it in a plastic bin before taking it to a warehouse in Webster.
May 27: Balboa reports Samuel missing in Houston
1st of June: Police in Jasper, Texas receive an anonymous tip leading them to the Best Western motel, where they find Balboa and then a child’s body in a plastic bin
June 2: Houston police announce body discovery, Balboa’s arrest and charge of tampering with evidence, with identification of pending remains.
3 June: Details of Balboa’s encounter with a man at Walmart emerge, as he allegedly helped carry the baby’s body. It is also revealed that Balboa lost custody of his young daughters in 2019.
June 4th: Balboa is transferred from Jasper County to Harris County Jail and is held on $ 500,000 bail
Balboa did not speak during Monday’s brief hearing.
The last time Olson was seen alive by his paternal grandmother, Tonya Olson, was on May 8, when he says she spent the weekend with him.
His last verified sighting by someone outside his family was on April 30 at his school.
Balboa would not report the boy’s disappearance until May 27.
After his arrest, the Balboa roommate told investigators she called him on May 10 and said the boy was dead, according to court documents.
Roommate Benjamin Rivera had reportedly rushed home from work to find the boy, bruised and unconscious in bed, and the two allegedly moved the body to their bathtub where it remained for two days.
The next day, May 13, Rivera told police that he bought duct tape and a plastic bin from Walmart, and he and Balboa would wrap the boy’s body and put it in the trash can before transporting it to a neighbor. locker.
The network closed on Balboa following a tip from a friend.
The 29-year-old had reportedly called a friend on May 31 and asked him to pick her up at a Walmart parking lot in Cleveland.
They then drove nearly 70 miles south to Webster’s depot where he recovered the trash.
Then they would drive another 160 miles northeast to the Best Western motel.
Once there, they took the basket inside room 106, with the man so horrified by the smell that came from it that he made an anonymous call to CrimeStoppers tipline to report it.
The agents who intervened on the scene found her with the plastic bag with the boy’s body.
Balboa’s neighbor, Tiffany Schultz, 25, told police she felt heavy scratches from the apartment the day after the boy was believed to be dead.
Schultz, 25, along with her fiancé and newborn son had moved into their new apartment in Webster on May 11, the day after neighbor Balboa told his roommate that Samuel Olson, 5, he was dead, according to court documents.
“The second day we were here, it was probably 3 or 4 in the morning, we felt some strong scratches, very, very strong,” he said. The sun. “It lasted a good ten or fifteen minutes.”
Her boyfriend, she said, started banging on the wall to stop the noises.
“I’ve heard animals scratching noisily before and it wasn’t that, I don’t think they had animals,” Schultz recalled. “We didn’t hear any other noises, it was strange.”
The map above shows the four locations associated with the search for the missing Samuel Olson
Olson’s body was found in a bag at a Texas motel on June 1, but police believe he died on May 10.
Samuel’s parents had been embroiled in a bitter custody battle for the boy after filing for divorce in January 2020.
Her mother, Sarah Olson, had primary custody but hadn’t seen Samuel since summer 2020, her attorney, Marco Gonzalez, told reporters this week.
Gonzalez accused Dalton Olson of keeping Samuel from his mother and avoiding receiving paperwork that would have ordered him to return the boy to her.
After reporting Samuel’s disappearance, Balboa initially accused Gonzalez and a man who presented himself as a police officer of taking the boy.
The police had not been able to verify Balboa’s claim.
Samuel had been living with Balboa since April 30, which was the last day he was seen at school.
Authorities did not say why Samuel was staying with Balboa. Dalton lived at a different address.
It emerged Wednesday night that Balboa had previously lost custody of her two young daughters in 2019 for claiming to be a bad mother.
Judicial documents obtained from Click2Houston revealed that the girls – now six and eight years old – were removed from their mother’s care after she failed to go to court for a custody hearing.
Sarah Olson’s birth mother Samuel is pictured with him on the left and Samuel is pictured on the right. Balboa is believed to have hidden his body for two weeks even in a bathtub in his apartment
Balboa had previously lost custody of her two young daughters in 2019 for claiming to be a bad mother