HOUSTON: Prosecutors on Thursday charged a woman with capital murder in the death of a 5-year-old Houston boy she had been caring for and whose body was allegedly kept in a storage unit before being discovered in an east Miami motel. Texas.
Theresa Balboa, 29, was previously arrested and charged with tampering with the evidence, a human corpse, in the death of Samuel Olson, whose father Balboa was dating.
Samuel’s cause of death was declared a homicide, but the Harris County District Attorney’s Office had waited to charge Balboa with capital murder until they investigated how he was killed. Court documents allege that Balboa struck the boy “with a blunt object,” but did not provide additional details.
Prosecutors previously said they had been testing a possible murder weapon.
Robert Scott, Balboa’s attorney, did not immediately return a call or email seeking comment.
Samuel had been living with Balboa since April 30, which was the last day they saw him at school. Authorities have not said why Samuel had stayed with Balboa instead of his parents, who were involved in a bitter custody battle.
According to a criminal complaint filed Thursday, prosecutors allege that Balboa killed Samuel on May 12, just over two weeks before he reported him missing on May 27. Samuel would have turned 6 on May 29.
Balboa is one of three people charged in connection with Samuel’s death. His roommate, Benjamin Rivera, and his friend Dylan Walker also face charges of tampering with evidence.
According to a previously filed arrest affidavit, Samuel’s body was kept in a bathtub at Balboa and Rivera’s suburban Houston apartment until it was placed in a plastic bag and hidden in a storage unit on May 13.
Authorities allege that on June 1, Walker helped Balboa move Samuel’s body from the storage unit to a motel in Jasper, about 135 miles (215 kilometers) to the northeast, where it was found inside the plastic bag. In a room that Walker rented for Balboa.
After Walker helped Balboa move Jasper’s body, he called authorities to inform them where it was, police allege. Prosecutors said Balboa was heading to Louisiana when she was arrested in Jasper.
Balboa, 29, remains incarcerated on bonds totaling $ 600,000 for the handling charge and another charge from a separate case. But prosecutors are now requesting that she be held without bail on the capital murder charge. Rivera, 27, and Walker, 27, were released after posting bail.
Balboa’s next court hearing is scheduled for Monday.
Samuel’s parents had filed for divorce in January 2020. His mother had primary custody, but had not seen their son since the summer of 2020, according to his lawyers.
“I just want justice to be served against everyone involved in my baby’s death,” Sarah Olson, Samuel’s mother, said in a statement. She planned to speak at a press conference on Friday.