Abandoned Kids Afraid and Paranoid and Got Food from Neighbors
2:00 p.m., October 26 Update
Obviously this is a very fluid story with updates coming in very quickly. An update we have just learned is that the Harris County Medical Examiner has determined the 9-year-old sibling that was dead in the apartment suffered "homicidal violence with multiple blunt force injuries" according to click2houston.com. This is not a specific cause of death as that will take time to learn. From this finding, however, authorities can determine what charges will come to the mother, the boyfriend or both.
Yesterday, October 25, we told you about a real life nightmare story that was unfolding in Houston. Three children were found living alone with the corpse of their younger brother for several months with the parents nowhere to be found. Authorities placed the children in CPS custody, the mother and her boyfriend were located, interviewed by police, then released. More details have come to light after talking with neighbors.
Erica Chapman lives in the apartment complex and first saw the oldest of the siblings sleeping on one of the slides in the complex. Chapman rarely saw the mother. When the mom did show up, the 15-year-old would run to car, get some food items from the mother then head back up to the apartment.
"She would come and park, and he would run down and grab noodles, drinks and chips and run back up," Chapman said.
Another neighbor said the oldest of the siblings knocked on his door asking for a charger. The neighbor said the teen seemed "paranoid" and would only accept certain food in fear of being posioned. One occasion, the neighbor gave the boy a pizza and asked the boy later if he liked it. The boy said, "What? The pizza we had?" making the neighbor wonder if other children were living with the boy not knowing that was the case.
Where Were the Parents
The mother of the children, along with her boyfriend, were living in an apartment about 15 minutes away from where the children were staying. Neighbors at that apartment complex never saw any children with them. They thought the couple had moved in around January or February.
There were also some truancy issues with the children, too. Alief ISD, where two of the children were enrolled, had filed truancy papers against the mother. The pandemic made the situation more difficult to detect.
All three of the children were taken to the hospital to be checked out. They were all malnourished and the 7-year-old had facial fractures. Once the autopsy comes back on the deceased sibling, the sheriff's department can determine what charges will be filed.
Keep these kids in your prayers.
I'm not one to cover news stories in the building but this one really struck a nerve with me and I'm not even a parent. The Harris County Sheriff Department was called to a Houston apartment complex where they found three children that had been abandoned in that apartment for several months. What makes this even worse is that their 9-year-old brother's body was with them who had been dead for around a year. I wish this were some kind of campfire horror story but it's not.
Sunday afternoon, October 24, the Harris County Sheriff's Department received a call from a 15-year-old boy claiming his parents had left him and his siblings, one 10 years old, the other 7 years old, alone in their apartment for the past several months. Deputies arrived at the apartment and found the children malnourished and had signs of injuries. The other discovery horrified the authorities.
The 15-year-old said in the call that their 9-year-old brother had been dead for about a year and his decomposing body was in the apartment with the children.
There are so many questions to asked here. How did this happen? How did anyone not at all notice a smell? How did no one know these children were alone? Just why? The mother of the children, along with her boyfriend, were found by Sunday night and questioned by authorities but were released. No charges were filed against the pair.
I do not have children of my own so parenting advice is something I can not give out. However, in no way, shape, form or fashion would I just leave and let children, even under the supervision of a teenager like this. It's an investigation by law enforcement and a lot goes into it but how were they able to let the adults go. This is not okay and I hope answers are found soon and the proper punishment is applied.