5 things for Houstonians to know for Wednesday, June 9

Body found in Jasper motel room positively identified as 5-year-old Samuel Olson, cause of death revealed
Body found in Jasper motel room positively identified as 5-year-old Samuel Olson, cause of death revealed

Here are things to know for Wednesday, June 9:

1. Body found in Jasper motel room positively identified as 5-year-old Samuel Olson, cause of death revealed

A 5-year-old Houston boy whose body authorities say was kept hidden in a storage unit before being discovered in a motel in Jasper, Texas has been officially identified and his cause of death has been ruled a homicide, authorities said Tuesday.

The identity of Samuel Olson was confirmed following an autopsy conducted by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Houston.

“The cause of his death is homicidal violence with blunt head trauma,” the institute, which conducts all autopsies in the county, said in an email. The institute did not provide additional details on the boy’s death and a spokeswoman didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment.

Theresa Raye Balboa, 29, who was the girlfriend of Samuel’s father, has been charged with tampering with evidence, a human corpse.

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2. Harding Street raid update: Woman sentenced to 40 months in federal detention for making false 911 calls that led to deadly raid

The woman who pleaded guilty to a charge of false information and hoaxes after the Harding Street police raid was sentenced in federal court Tuesday.

Patricia Ann Garcia made a series of fake 911 calls that led to the Harding Street police raid. She was sentenced to 40 months in federal detention with three years of probation.

Federal prosecutors said Garcia, who lived near the Harding Street home where the raid happened, made a series of calls to 911 in January 2019.

Prosecutors said she told authorities that her daughter was inside of the home with heavily armed drug dealers. Prosecutors said she also reported that people in the home were doing crack cocaine and heroin.

The police raid happened 20 days later. Rhogena Nicholas and Dennis Tuttle, who lived at the home, died in the raid.

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3. US identifies 3,900 children separated at border under Trump

The Biden administration said Tuesday that it has identified more than 3,900 children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border under former President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy on illegal crossings, providing one of the more detailed accounts of a chapter in U.S. immigration history that drew widespread condemnation.

The Biden administration’s Family Reunification Task Force count of 3,913 children separated from July 1, 2017, to the end of Trump’s presidency is well below the more than 5,500 children identified by the American Civil Liberties Union in court filings, based on government information.

The task force said it identified “nearly all” children who were separated under the zero-tolerance policy but will review another 1,723 cases since July 2017, which would bring total cases examined to 5,636, close to the ACLU tally. The discrepancy appears to stem largely from a federal court ruling in San Diego that excluded 1,723 children who were separated for reasons other than Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, such as risk of child endangerment or questions about parentage.

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4. Colorado woman steals $10,000 worth of clothing from 7 different Lululemon stores in Houston area, police say

Deer Park investigators said 49-year-old Tricia Mullins had a well-orchestrated plan when she traveled to Texas from her home in Colorado to steal clothes from a popular fitness store.

During a routine traffic stop, deputies said they discovered that Mullins had stolen clothes from multiple Lululemon stores in Houston.

“We found that she hit all seven Lululemons in the Houston area, just about $10,000 worth of clothing over Saturday and Sunday,” said Deer Park Police Department Lieutenant Chris Brown.

Brown said the items Mullins stole include 29 pairs of pants worth more than $3,300, 67 shorts worth nearly $5,000, 22 shirts worth $1,700, and much more.

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5. Astros, Houston Methodist team up to provide free vaccinations

The Astros and Houston Methodist are partnering to provide Houstonians the chance to get the COVID vaccine. No appointment is necessary.

Here are the details:

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