Houston police confirmed Tuesday that a 9-year-old boy found deceased inside a Harris County apartment died from homicide.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, a teen boy contacted police on Sunday to say that his brother was dead and had been for quite some time — possibly a year. The teenager had been living alone with his 10 and 7-year-old siblings, while the dead boy’s body was decomposing in the home.
According to Click 2 Houston, the medical examiner said the victim died from “homicidal violence” and had numerous blunt force trauma injuries.
“They [the children] were in there while the body was deteriorating,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said at a press conference. The siblings “were fending for each other. … The 15-year-old was taking care of the others.”
A neighbor at the apartment complex noticed a smell coming from the children’s apartment, beginning about a year ago. She told ABC 7 that she believed the apartment was abandoned, and that she notified the building management multiple times about the odor.
Meanwhile, authorities are piecing together answers about the children and their parents, such as how they survived alone for nearly a year.
On Monday morning, police released the children’s mother after questioning her and her boyfriend. No charges have been filed, raising new questions about the circumstances of the 9-year-old boy’s death and the abandonment of his three siblings.
The children were removed from the apartment and taken to a local hospital for medical checkups. They’re now in the custody of Child Protective Services.
“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,” CPS said in a statement.
The story continues to develop. Check back for updates.
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[Featured Photo: KHOU Screenshot]