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Theresa Balboa charged with capital murder in death of 5-year-old Samuel Olson

HOUSTON – Theresa Raye Balboa, who was the girlfriend of Samuel Olson’s father, has been charged with capital murder in connection with the death of the 5-year-old after his body was found in a Jasper motel room in June.

Balboa was initially charged with tampering with evidence of a human corpse, according to documents. She was arrested and transferred from Jasper County Jail to Harris County Jail where she has been held as the investigation continues. Balboa’s next court date is set for Monday.

Samuel’s body was kept hidden in a storage unit before being discovered in the motel and his cause of death has been ruled a homicide, authorities said. The identity of Samuel Olson was confirmed following an autopsy conducted by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Houston.

This undated photo provided by The Gonzalez Law Group shows Samuel Olson. Investigators have recovered a weapon that may have been used to kill Samuel Olson. The weapon was being tested to see if it was the one used to kill Olson, Andrea Beall, a prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, told reporters Thursday, June 24, 2021. (The Gonzalez Law Group via AP)
This photo provided by The Gonzalez Law Group shows Sarah Olson holding her son Samuel. Investigators have recovered a weapon that may have been used to kill Samuel Olson. The weapon was being tested to see if it was the one used to kill Olson, Andrea Beall, a prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, told reporters Thursday, June 24, 2021. (The Gonzalez Law Group via AP)
This Aug. 2019 photo provided by The Gonzalez Law Group shows Samuel Olson. Investigators have recovered a weapon that may have been used to kill Samuel Olson. The weapon was being tested to see if it was the one used to kill Olson, Andrea Beall, a prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, told reporters Thursday, June 24, 2021. (The Gonzalez Law Group via AP)

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

“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.

Samuel’s body was found on June 1 inside a plastic tote in the motel in Jasper. Prosecutors have said Balboa was on her way to Louisiana.

Police believe Samuel died weeks before he was reported missing on May 27, according to an arrest affidavit. He would have turned 6 years old on May 29.

Balboa initially accused Samuel’s mother and a man who presented himself as a police officer of taking the boy. Samuel had been living with Balboa since April 30, which was the last day he was seen at school. Authorities have not said why Samuel was staying with Balboa. Samuel’s father, Dalton Olson, lived at a different address.

Samuel’s parents had been involved in a custody battle over the boy after filing for divorce in January 2020.

Balboa’s roommate, Benjamin Rivera, told investigators that Balboa called him on May 10 and said the boy was dead, according to the arrest affidavit. The boy’s body was kept in the bathtub of the suburban Houston apartment where Balboa lived until she and her roommate placed it in a plastic tote and hid it in a storage unit on May 13, police said.

Rivera, 27, was charged in June with tampering with evidence (a human corpse in this case) in connection to the 5-year-old’s case, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Benjamin Rivera, 28 (KPRC 2)

READ: Third person charged in connection with Samuel Olson’s death

A tip from a friend of Balboa led police to the motel room in Jasper, where officers found her and the plastic tote with the boy’s body.

TIMELINE: Samuel Olson case


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