Samuel Olson Update: Texas Boy's Body Moved by Suspect for Weeks, Court Documents State

A 5-year-old missing boy whose body was found in a motel room in Texas may have been dead for weeks, court papers have revealed.

Samuel Olson was reported missing by his father, Dalton Olson, on May 27. On June 1, Houston Police said a body found in a motel in Jasper was believed to be the 5-year-old boy and Theresa Balboa, Dalton Olson's girlfriend, had been taken into custody.

Court documents now state that Samuel might have died as far back as May 10, and that Balboa had left the child's body in a bathtub for two days before moving him to different locations in a plastic storage box.

When Dalton Olson reported his son missing, he told police Balboa had been looking after Samuel since April 30—which was also the last day he was seen in school.

The investigation began to focus on Balboa after she falsely claimed that Samuel's mother, Sarah Olson, and a man dressed as a police officer had taken him from her home at around 7:30 a.m. on May 27. Sarah Olson later provided the authorities with surveillance footage to prove this did not happen, reported ABC 13.

On May 28, detectives interviewed Balboa's roommate at the apartment where Samuel had been staying with her. The roommate said Balboa had called him on or around May 10 and told him Samuel was dead.

An affidavit states that the roommate returned home and saw Samuel's bruised body on a bed. The roommate said he and Balboa then placed Samuel's body in a bathtub "where he remained for two days," reported Fox 7.

The roommate said he bought duct tape and a plastic bin at Walmart on May 13. He and Balboa wrapped the boy's body in a plastic sheet and put it in the storage bin before moving it to a storage unit in Webster.

On June 1, Jasper Police's Crime Stoppers division received a call saying Balboa and Samuel were at the Best Western Motel.

There was no answer when officers knocked on the motel room door. Police eventually made their way into the room after obtaining a spare key.

Once inside, one of the responding officers "detected an odor that through his experience in law enforcement … to be possible decomposing human remains," the court documents state.

Balboa was found in the bathroom. When officers asked where Samuel's body was, she replied: "Inside the box."

The man who tipped off Crime Stoppers admitted that he had helped Balboa move the body to the motel, reported KHOU. She is said to have called him on May 3, saying she had been involved in an altercation.

After meeting at a Walmart in Liberty County, the pair went to the storage unit in Webster to pick up the child's body. The man then drove Balboa to the motel and booked a room in his name. After helping to move the box inside, the man returned home and called the authorities.

Balboa has been charged with tampering with evidence.

Sarah Olson believes the boy's father should also face charges in connection to his death.

"Theresa is in custody, but [Sarah Olson] also strongly believes that the adults, you know, the child's father, should also be in custody, because she feels 100 percent that they both have something to do with this," her attorney Marco Gonzalez told ABC 13.

"So, she's hoping, you know, praying that he also will be taken into custody. So that justice can be done for Samuel."

Dalton Olson has denied any involvement in the boy's death.

"He had nothing to do with the death of his son," his attorney, Samuel Veenstra, told Click 2 Houston. "[The] family is in mourning, shocked and in disbelief."

Theresa Balboa samuel olson body
Theresa Balboa (R) has been charged with tampering with evidence in the death of Samuel Olson, aged 5. Houston Police

Editor's pick

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts