HOUSTON – A Third Ward mother drowned her two children in a bathtub last week and then hid their bodies under her neighbor's house, according to prosecutors.
Sheborah Thomas, 30, has been charged with two counts of capital murder in the deaths of her 7-year-old son, Araylon, also known as Ray Ray, and her 5-year-old daughter, Kayiana.
Thomas did not appear during her initial hearing Monday afternoon, but prosecutors read the probable cause document in her case.
According to prosecutors, Thomas confessed to an acquaintance that she had killed her children and needed to move. Initially, the acquaintance thought she was joking, but later determined she was serious. The acquaintance then flagged down a police officer and told him what happened.
During an interview with Houston police, according to prosecutors, Thomas admitted to drawing a bath for her children Friday and then drowning her daughter and her son. She put their bodies in a trash can.
According to prosecutors, Thomas told investigators that the following day she tried bury the bodies, but the hole was not deep enough. She said she then decided to stuff the bodies under her neighbor's house.
Records showed that the children were placed in the custody of their grandmother in 2012 after Kayiana was found wandering the street with a drunk man. At that time, the court ordered Thomas to undergo drug treatment.
According to a spokesman for Child Protective Services, there was an open case involving Thomas at the time the children died. However, he could not speak about specific details of the case.
Police said officers had previously been called to Thomas' home, but for "nothing major." They said they were not aware of Thomas having a history of mental health problems.
The owners of a Southeast Houston restaurant say Thomas showed up Saturday acting strange and desperate for her final paycheck of $47.
"I didn't see anything that indicated she did something heinous," Santiago Wesley said.
Wesley and Danielle Malveaux said they hired Sheborah Thomas two months ago to manage their new restaurant, The Little Cajun Kitchen.
But a few weeks ago, Thomas told her bosses the workload was too much.
"She was saying she wanted to spend more time with her kids, so I would ask 'What time do you need? What days do you want?' and she would never say," Malveaux said.
They decided to part ways and say Thomas showed up at the restaurant this past Saturday and described her behavior as erratic.
"She was screaming my name 'Mr. Wesley, Mr. Wesley, I need to talk to you'", he recalled.
Surveillance footage shows Wesley and Thomas heading outside to talk.
"She was sweating profusely moving back and forth, I was just so alarmed she was so desperate for a small amount of money," he said.
Wesley says he threatened to call the police when Thomas became irate and she eventually left, without the money that she wasn't due to receive until Monday.