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Arrests in Case of Siblings Who Lived With Brother's Remains

Boyfriend charged with murder of boy whose remains were found in apartment
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2021 7:34 PM CDT
Updated Oct 27, 2021 12:00 AM CDT
Brother of Abandoned Siblings Died by 'Homicidal Violence'
Law enforcement officials investigate the scene at the CityParc II at West Oaks Apartments on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021.   (Mark Mulligan/Houston Chronicle via AP)

(Newser) Update: The mother of a Texas child found dead in his home after a sibling called 911 was arrested Tuesday in his death, as was the woman's boyfriend. The boyfriend was charged with murder, while the woman was charged with felony injury to a child by omission, failure to provide medical care and failure to provide adequate supervision, the AP reports. It's not clear who the child's father is. Our original story from Tuesday follows:

story continues below

The already grim case of three abandoned Texas siblings took a horrific turn Tuesday when authorities disclosed that a fourth sibling, whose body was found in their Houston-area apartment, died violently. The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Houston said an autopsy determined the child's cause of death was "homicidal violence with multiple blunt force injuries," the AP reports. A 15-year-old boy and two younger siblings, ages 10 and 7, were treated at a hospital and placed in the custody of Texas Department of Family and Protective Services after the teen called 911 Sunday.

Police say the 15-year-old told them that the body of his 9-year-old brother had been in the apartment for around a year. Charges have not yet been filed in the death, the Houston Chronicle reports. Police say the mother and her boyfriend were located Sunday night and were released without charge after questioning. Authorities say the siblings stopped attending school in May 2020, early in the pandemic, and did not return for the next school year. An Alief Independent School District spokesman says school personnel unsuccessfully attempted a home visit in September last year.

Police say the malnourished boys were apparently fending for themselves, with the teen looking after his younger siblings. Neighbors say they didn't know the boys were on their own. "Honestly I’m disgusted," neighbor Erica Chapman tells KHOU 11. "If I knew something was wrong with any of those kids, I would have took all of them." She says she brought the teen food after she saw him sleeping on a playground slide. Chapman says she asked him a few questions, but he didn't want to talk about his parents. (Read more Harris County stories.)

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