Samuel Olson may have died on May 10, body left in bathtub for two days before it was moved: Cops
Samuel Olson, 6, found in a tote bag in a motel room on June 1, was first reported missing on May 27
JASPER, TEXAS: Six-year-old Samuel Olson allegedly died more than two weeks before he was reported missing. His dad's girlfriend, Theresa Balboa, allegedly left his bruised body to decompose in the bath for days before his remains were found in a Jasper motel, as per court documents.
29-year-old Theresa Balboa was put behind bars on Tuesday, June 1, and charged with tampering with evidence. This was after the body of a child believed to be that of Samuel Olson was found in a tote bag in her motel room. The six-year-old was first reported missing on May 27 by Balboa and his biological father Dalton Olson, but police believe he hadn't been seen in public since April 30. However, new court documents released Thursday, June 3, suggest that Samuel, who is yet to be officially identified as the deceased, may have died more than two weeks before he was reported missing, Click2Houston reported.
Balboa's roommate, Benjamin Rivera, reportedly told investigators that she called him on May 10 and informed him that Samuel was dead, as per the charging documents. He said he rushed home from work and found Samuel laying on the bed, unresponsive.
Rivera told detectives that he noticed bruising on the child's body, when he and Balboa moved Samuel to a bathtub where he remained for two days. On May 13, he claims he purchased duct tape and a plastic tote from Walmart. He and Balboa proceeded to wrap Samuel's body in a plastic sheet, place it in a tote bag, and loaded it onto the back of his truck. Balboa's roommate then drove to a storage unit in Webster, as per court documents.
Prosecutors said on Thursday, June 3, that surveillance cameras caught Balboa being picked up from the same storage unit by a man on June 1. However, it is yet to be confirmed if that man was Rivera. The video reportedly showed her holding the plastic bin that allegedly contained Samuel's body before she loaded it onto the back of the man's truck. Just hours before that, Balboa had pretended to assist with a search for Samuel in the vicinity, as per the prosecution.
“He used to call me ‘Super Mommy.’” We interviewed Theresa Balboa Monday, while police were looking for #SamuelOlson, her boyfriend’s son. Today, she was charged with tampering with evidence after a body believed to be the missing boy was found in a motel. https://t.co/2JrOpDH3ZS pic.twitter.com/pXyDQRYH5h— Pooja Lodhia (@PoojaOnTV) June 2, 2021
Balboa and the unidentified man subsequently drove to the Best Western motel in Jasper and were seen on surveillance footage arriving at the establishment. The man was seen unloading the plastic bin and carrying it to room 106 before leaving the motel, as per court documents.
Investigators believe it was the same man who later called Crime Stoppers to file an anonymous tip to police about Balboa's whereabouts and the "foul-smelling" bin. Charging documents say the tipster also noted that Balboa was in possession of the missing child's body per the police description of missing Samuel.
Authorities used the tip and officers responded, reaching the motel where Balboa was reportedly staying under an alias. In her room, officers found the plastic container and found Balboa hiding in the bathroom. When they removed the lid of the bin, they found a small body stuffed inside a black tote bag that had been wrapped with duct tape.
While the Medical Examiner is yet to officially identify the remains, investigators are positive they belong to little Samuel, who would have turned six on Sunday, May 30.
Here is the full interview conducted Monday with Dalton Olson, father of 6-year-old Samuel Olson whose body is believed to have been discovered in Jasper last night, according to Houston Police who are awaiting autopsy results. pic.twitter.com/woDYDzLEQF— Ivory Hecker FOX 26 (@IvoryHecker) June 2, 2021
Balboa is currently charged with evidence tampering, but will likely face additional charges after coroners make a further determinations about the body. Meanwhile, Rivera is currently not facing any charges and it is unclear whether he's remanded in custody as well. Authorities previously said several persons of interest were being investigated as potential suspects in Samuel's apparent death. His father, Dalton Olson, is not being considered a person of interest at this time.