The skeletal remains of a 9-year-old boy are believed to have been left with abandoned children in a Texas home for a whole year, police have said.
Harris County officers made the horrific discovery on Sunday after they received a call from a 15-year-old who said his brother, 9, had been dead for a year inside the Houston apartment he shared with his two other siblings, according to ABC13.
Police said they found three boys, aged 15, 10 and 7, inside the home and that the teenager and his siblings appeared to have been abandoned.
Officers also said they found skeletal remains that appeared to have been of a young boy and were consistent with what the teenager had told them.
The remains were reportedly left out in the apartment and were not concealed or hidden away from the other children.
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a post shared on Twitter the same day: “Heartbreaking. @HCSOTexas units are at an apt complex at 3535 Green Crest, near Addicks Clodine & Westpark Tollway.
“Units found three juveniles abandoned in an apartment. Skeletal remains, possibly of another juvenile, were also found inside the unit.”
The teenage boy also told emergency services that their parents had not lived with them in the apartment for several months.
Sheriff Gonzalez told ABC13 the children showed signs of being malnourished and that all three were taken to the hospital for treatment.
All three children have since been taken into custody.
Heartbreaking. @HCSOTexas units are at an apt complex at 3535 Green Crest, near Addicks Clodine & Westpark Tollway. Units found three juveniles abandoned in an apartment. Skeletal remains, possibly of another juvenile, were also found inside the unit. #HouNews pic.twitter.com/uVcybOugM9— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) October 24, 2021
The eldest child appeared to have cared for his siblings for several months, police told the network.
Sheriff Gonzalez later added the children’s mother and her boyfriend had been found and were being interviewed by officers.
He described the events at the apartment as “horrific” and unlike anything he had seen during his many years with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff told ABC13: “I have been in this business a long time and never saw anything like this.”
He later added: “[We’re] connecting all the dots at this point, it appears [the kids] were in there while the body was deteriorating.”
Anyone with information about the parents or next of kin is urged to call 713-274-9100
Newsweek has contacted the Harris County Sheriff’s Office for comment.
According to the website of criminal defense attorney David A. Breston, child abandonment can range from between six months to 20 years imprisonment depending on the severity of the case.
The website said: “Abandonment that results in imminent danger to the child can result in two to 20 years in prison and a fine.”
Original Article: Abandoned Children Lived With Brother’s Corpse for a Year: Police