WEBSTER, Texas – The body which is believed to be that of Samuel Olson arrived at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences Thursday afternoon, according to the Houston Police Department.
Houston police said the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences will perform an autopsy to identify the body and the manner of death.
UPDATE: The body - believed to be of Samuel - is now in Houston at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, where an autopsy will be performed to confirm the identity and manner of death. #hounews https://t.co/xXJn4T8gY1— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) June 3, 2021
The girlfriend of a missing boy’s father is behind bars, charged with tampering with evidence after a child’s body was found in a motel in Jasper, Texas, Houston police said Wednesday.
See the full news conference with Houston police below:
Theresa Balboa may face additional charges, as appropriate, police said during a news conference in which updates were shared in the case.
Balboa, who is currently in the Jasper County Jail, was out on bond from an assault case in November, police disclosed Wednesday. She was charged with assault with intent impeding breath, and Samuel’s father, Dalton Olson, was the complainant in the case.
Balboa was arrested in Jasper Tuesday night when a child’s body was found in the motel room. Police said Wednesday that they believe the child’s body is missing 5-year-old Samuel Olson, but that is the medical examiner’s determination to make, they said.
An anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers led police to the motel, police said Wednesday.
Houston police said Wednesday that their interviews with Balboa are ongoing, and that Samuel’s father is someone they are talking to, among several other people.
Police said they have no motive yet in this case.
According to reports, officers were called to a Best Western Inn, located in the 200 block of West Gibson Street just before 6 p.m. about a body being found.
Jasper Police Chief Gerald Hall, according to reports, said the body of the child was found in a tote bag located in a room on the west side of the motel complex. He also said there were indications were that the body had been there for some time, according to reports.
Texas Rangers and Houston law enforcement are traveling to Jasper to assist in the investigation.
The cause of death is unknown.
On Wednesday evening, the attorney representing Samuel’s biological mother, Sarah Olson, issued a statement saying that she wants “justice for her baby, Sam” and that she’s “hurting very deeply.”
The attorney, Marco González, also said that the mother did not wish to speak to the media until she’s had a chance to identify the body that was found.
“Since she hasn’t had a chance to identify the child, she’s still coping and trying to get all the information and process things her way right now. She feels like she can’t gather the strength and speak with you now,” González said.
The lawyer stated that Sarah feels like Samuel’s father should also be in custody 100%, saying that “she’s hoping and praying that he is taken into custody.”
WATCH: Sarah’s attorney gives statement regarding Samuel Olson:
Earlier Tuesday, Houston police and members of the forensic crime scene unit executed a search warrant at an apartment where Samuel was staying over the last few weeks.
Detectives said Samuel may have been missing as far back as April 30, which is more than a month ago. Police said that the last verifiable place Samuel was seen was at his elementary school in Cy-Fair ISD on April 30.
Cy-Fair ISD released the following statement regarding the incident:
“Campus staff, including teachers and administrators, contact a student’s parent/guardian to follow up on student absences. If a student is reported missing, the district and CFPD offer assistance to the law enforcement agency investigating the missing person’s case.”
Olson’s father, Dalton Olson, and his girlfriend, Balboa, claimed the boy was last seen last Thursday in southwest Houston. That’s when Balboa says Samuel’s mother and a man dressed like a police officer came to her apartment and took the child.
Moreover, while the boy’s father alleges the boy’s mother took him, HPD said the boy’s mother does not know of his whereabouts either.
Police said they are getting so many conflicting stories from different people, they really don’t know who to believe.
Questions mounted Monday about the search and how the boy truly went missing.
Dalton Olson, Samuel’s father, visited the search site Monday with his girlfriend. She was the last person to see the boy, he said.
“I feel like I’m having a bad dream that I can’t wake up from,” Olson said. “We stuck to our routine. I mean. It’s just very overwhelming and it’s hard.”
The routine, according to Olson, had Samuel with his girlfriend, Balboa. Balboa told KPRC 2 she brought Samuel with her to her mother’s home in southwest Houston Thursday morning.
“I was going to take Sam to school when his mother showed up with a police officer, or what I was under the impression to be a police officer, and they demanded me to release Sam,” Balboa said.
Balboa said because she doesn’t have any legal rights to the child, she turned him over.
“They had a full police uniform. They had a gun, handcuffs, everything. I thought it was a Harris County police officer because on the badge it said Harris County,” she said.
Balboa said she does not remember any physical characteristics, nor the name of the man she accuses of posing as a police officer to take Samuel.
“I had no choice but to hand him over,” she said.
Volunteers from Texas EquuSearch and detectives from HPD searched a grassy field behind an apartment complex at the intersection of Dixie Farm Road and Gulf Breeze Drive in Webster. ATV’s and search dogs scoured the area into 6 p.m. Monday. Officials would not disclose the significance of that location, but Tim Miller told KPRC 2 Houston police asked EquuSearch to search there.
“We’re getting a lot of flyers out, actually in this apartment complex to see if anybody has seen little Sam. If so, when is the last time they saw him,” Miller said.
Miller added while Balboa said the fake officer and Samuel’s mother took him Thursday morning, there are questions about the specifics of when he was taken – and how.
“We’re really trying to figure out when is the last time Little Sam was actually seen so we can fit somewhat of a starting point of when something possibly happened,” Miller continued.
Samuel’s mother could not be reached for comment Monday, but Olson confirmed she had legal custody of the boy.
When asked why the boy was with Balboa, Olson said she would help watch the boy because he didn’t have a car and worked long hours in construction.
A spokesperson for the Department of Family and Protective Services would not confirm who had custody of the boy, but acknowledged it is working with investigators.
“We don’t have details to share because investigations are confidential by law. But Child Protective investigators are working alongside law enforcement to try and locate Samuel,” wrote Melissa Lanford, a public relations officer for DFPS.
Olson maintained he and the boy’s mother have had problems in the past; however, KPRC 2 uncovered court documents that confirm Olson and Balboa have had issues, as well.
According to court documents, Balboa, 29, was charged with Assault of a Family Member – Impeding Breathing in Nov. 2020. Balboa is accused of “impeding the normal breathing and circulation of the blood of [Olson] by applying pressure to [Olson’s] throat and by applying pressure to [Olson’s] neck,” according to the charging document, dated Nov. 29, 2020. A judge issued Olson an emergency protective order against Balboa for the alleged incident. According to the order, Balboa was forbidden from “communicating directly with a member of the family or household or with the protected individual.”
When asked about the protective order, Olson and Balboa said they’ve overcome their problems, which had nothing to do with Samuel.
“This is about Sam,” Olson said, adding, Sam wasn’t around at the time of the alleged incident.
Still, the existence of the protective order raises questions about why the boy was with Balboa.
Olson insisted the Balboa wasn’t at fault.
“I feel like I’m having a bad dream that I can’t wake up from,” he said.