7-year-old boy reported missing found dead inside washing machine at home in Spring, constable says

Troy Khoeler was a former foster child who was adopted in 2019, according to Pct. 4.

SPRING, Texas – A 7-year-old boy who was reported missing for several hours Thursday was found dead inside of a washing machine at home in Spring, Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman says.

Precinct 4 constable deputies responded to a missing persons call in the 4400 block of Rosegate Drive in the Birnamwood subdivision around 5:20 a.m.

When constable deputies arrived at the scene, the parents of Troy Khoeler reportedly told them the 7-year-old had been missing since 4 a.m.

When authorities conducted a search, they found the boy inside of a top-load washing machine located inside the garage around 7:20 a.m., Precinct 4 said. After the boy’s body was discovered, Precinct 4 said they called deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office to conduct an investigation.

Watch Thursday’s news conference:

Lt. Robert Minchew with the HCSO Homicide Unit said the parents of the 7-year-old were detained and taken into custody for questioning. Constable deputies said there were “possible signs” that led them to search the home.

Minchew said Troy has no other siblings and authorities aren’t sure how his parents discovered he was missing before calling 911. Investigators declined to comment on if there were signs of foul play, if they believe the boy got inside the machine himself, if there was water in the machine, or if the lid was closed.

7-year-old boy missing for hours found dead inside home in Spring, Constable Mark Herman says (KPRC 2)

Authorities are waiting for a medical examiner to determine the possible cause of death.

According to Minchew, Troy was a foster child and was adopted in 2019. Officials confirmed with KPRC 2 that CPS does have history with the family.

On Wednesday night, Spring Independent School District released the following statement:

“Spring ISD is deeply saddened about the tragic passing of our student, Troy Khoeler. The Harris County Pct. 4 Constable’s Office and Harris County Sheriff’s Office are currently investigating the case. His death represents a great loss for our district, and we are providing ongoing counseling and grief services for students and staff members impacted by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

“We ask for everyone’s prayers for the family,” Herman said as he announced the update in a tweet.


About the Authors:

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 2, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.