Missing Texas Child Samuel Olson's Body Believed Found at Motel, Dad's Girlfriend in Custody

Samuel Olson was a 6-year-old Texas boy who was reported missing last week. His body is believed to have been found in a motel room about 130 miles from his home. Dad's girlfriend, Theresa Balboa, has been taken into custody, police said.

The body of missing 6-year-old Samuel Olson is believed to have been found inside a duffel bag in a motel room more than 130 miles from his Houston hometown, authorities said Wednesday.

"This is an absolutely tragic event. Our hearts go out to his family," Heather Morris, the assistant chief of the Houston Police Department, told reporters Wednesday.

The girlfriend of Sam's dad, Theresa Balboa, 29, is being held at the Jasper County Jail, awaiting transfer to Houston authorities, Morris said. An anonymous tip to Jasper Crime Stoppers led local police to a Best Western motel, where Balboa was taken into custody and the remains of what authorities believe is Samuel Olson were discovered, Morris said. 

The Texas boy was reported missing last week, but police have said they were hampered in investigating the case by conflicting timelines from relatives concerning the child's disappearance. He could have been missing since April 30, the last time he was seen by anyone other than his family, Houston police said.

The Harris County District Attorney's office will file charges of tampering with evidence against Balboa, the assistant police chief said. The confusing case is still in its early stages, and investigators and homicide detectives are currently interviewing several people, Morris said. 

Last Thursday, police were called by Dalton Olson, the boy's father, Morris said. Balboa told investigators that Samuel's mother and an unknown officer had taken Sam that morning. Balboa said she was told she would go to jail for kidnapping if she did not return Samuel to his mother, authorities said.

Dalton Olson said he had contacted Sam's mom, but she said her son was not with her, Morris said. The father said he had contacted police after Balboa told him what happened, authorities said.

The father and other family members are still being questioned by investigators, Morris said. Evidence collected by investigators showed the boy's mother had not left her home last Thursday morning, Morris said.

Balboa had been out on bond pending trial for an assault charge involving Dalton Olson, who reported in November that Balboa had choked him, Morris said. According to online court records, Balboa was freed on $15,000 bail and her arraignment is scheduled for June 24.

Morris said the ongoing investigation prevented authorities from releasing many details in the case. On Tuesday, investigators searched Balboa's apartment and impounded her car, Morris said, because of "inconsistencies in Balboa's statements."

That night, after being contacted by Jasper authorities, the Houston police chief took to Twitter. "It is with great sadness that I share with you that a body — of who we believe to be 6-year-old Samuel Olson — was recovered in a motel room in Jasper, Texas, earlier this evening," Troy Finner said late Tuesday.


Texas EquuSearch volunteers had been helping police and others look for the missing child.

"I've worked many, many of these cases. I don't have a good feeling," Texas EquuSearch founder Tim Miller said Monday. "Nobody can find out anybody that's credible that can tell us the last time he was seen and where," he said.

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