Kids left living with brother’s corpse for 12 months as mum lived minutes away
Three children in Texas were left to starve and condemned to live with their brother’s decomposing corpse for a year, while their mother was living just 15 minutes away.
The siblings’ horrific conditions were first brought to light when the eldest, aged 15, called 911 on Sunday, following a text message he had sent to his mother to tell her he “could not take it anymore”.
The 15-year-old reported to police that he had been living with the rotting body of his brother, along with his two surviving siblings.
The boy’s brave 911 call brought up several disconcerting revelations, such as the fact that the three children, aged seven, 10 and 15, had been left by themselves for many months.
Consequently, the abandoned boys had been forced to rely on food donations from neighbours to survive, all whilst their mum was living with her boyfriend a few minutes away.
Following the disturbing phone call to 911, police arrived at the children’s home on Sunday afternoon to discover their late brother’s skeletal remains laying out in the open.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told local news KTRK that the two younger boys seemed malnourished and that they “showed signs of physical injury”.
He added: “It appears they were basically fending for each other.
“The older sibling was doing the best he could to take care of the others.”
After police’s visit to the heartbreaking scene, detectives with the Harris County Sheriff's Office questioned the disgraced mother and her partner, before releasing them on Monday, awaiting for the criminal investigation to unfold.
The couple was neither arrested nor charged with any crime, a surprising decision which has been left without any explanation so far.
Furthermore, authorities have reportedly not revealed whether or not they were looking for the children's biological father.
The three surviving brothers were brought into a hospital for treatment, and were found to be malnourished and injured, with the seven-year-old suffering from broken bones in his face.
As the immoral couple was released on Monday, local TV station ABC13 ran into them before filming the pair rolling up their window and quickly driving off.
"We see them come and go," Tanieka, a neighbour, told the news. She added: "We never saw any children. None."
Pending the outcome of the criminal investigation, child welfare services in Texas have reportedly also launched an investigation “into the horror found at the apartment complex on Houston's west side”.
In an official statement released on Monday, the Department of Family and Protective Services said that they were seeking emergency custody of the three surviving siblings “to ensure the safety of the children”.
They added: “Child Protective Services does have history with the family, but there was no active CPS investigation at the time the children were discovered alone in their apartment.
“Residents of the area said that management had been doing inspection rounds in the area for the last couple of weeks.”
Various neighbours have come out with eerie statements to local reporters about their suspicious observations.
Trevor Thomspon, a neighbour who used to provide the three boys with some food, described the eldest sibling as paranoid and afraid of getting poisoned.
He said: "A few times I noticed the lights weren't on, and it was quiet upstairs, so I figured there was trouble because the parents haven't been there in a while.”
According to KTRK, an autopsy is being conducted by the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office on the fourth child to determine a cause of death.
It was also revealed on Tuesday that the deceased child had suffered “multiple blunt force injuries resulting in his death by homicide”.
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