After helping with the search for Samuel Olson on Monday—and sharing her anxiety about finding the missing 6-year-old with reporters—Theresa Balboa quietly slipped away with a friend.
Court documents first obtained by ABC13 state that Balboa went to a storage unit in Webster, Texas, with a friend and lugged a large plastic container into her car. The next day, the friend drove her and the container to a local Best Western about two hours away.
Unbeknownst to Balboa, the friend had called the Jasper Police Department to report her—and it wasn’t long before cops showed up at the motel, according to court documents. Inside the container, officers discovered what they believe to be the body of the missing 6-year-old, who was wrapped in black plastic bags and secured with duct tape. Balboa was immediately arrested.
“I can barely breathe,” the boy’s father, Dalton Olson, told KPRC 2 on Wednesday, hours after his girlfriend was charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the case. “Why? He loved you so much. I do not understand what happened. Why did you, why did you do this?”
Law enforcement officials with knowledge of the case have indicated to The Daily Beast that Balboa may face upgraded charges as soon as Thursday. Houston Assistant Chief Heather Morris on Wednesday also confirmed that several other people are being questioned in the case, including Dalton Olson.
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Court records indicate that Balboa may have not even been allowed to be around the Olsons at the time of the 6-year-old’s disappearance. Last November, Balboa was arrested for choking Dalton Olson and was charged with assault of a family member.
The next day, she was released on a $50,000 bond and a protective order was filed that technically prohibits Balboa from “communicating directly with a member of the family or household or with [Dalton Olson],” court documents state. In May 2010, Balboa was also charged for possession of marijuana and served three days in jail.
When asked about the protective order on Monday, the couple told reporters they had moved past their issues and were focusing their attention on finding the 6-year-old. Standing hand-in-hand with Balboa, Dalton Olson insisted he did not blame his girlfriend for his son’s disappearance.
“I feel like I’m having a bad dream that I can’t wake up from,” he said near a grassy field behind an apartment complex. “We stuck to our routine. I mean. It’s just very overwhelming and it’s hard.”
The Houston Police Department states Olson was reported missing by the boy’s father around 6 p.m. on May 27. But investigators believe the boy had been missing for weeks after finding inconsistencies in statements from Balboa and her boyfriend—and learning he was last seen on April 30 at Holbrook Elementary School.
Morris said Wednesday that when officers responded to Olson’s house last week, Balboa claimed she had turned Samuel over to his mother, Sarah Olson, and a police officer as she was preparing to take the boy to school in the morning.
“I was going to take Sam to school when his mother showed up with a police officer, or what I was under the impression to be a police officer, and they demanded me to release Sam,” Balboa, 29, told reporters on Monday. “They had a full police uniform. They had a gun, handcuffs, everything. I had no choice but to hand him over.”
Police said that after hearing his girlfriend’s tale, Dalton Olson called “Samuel’s mother and she told him that Samuel was not with her.” Investigators also later confirmed that Sarah Olson was at her house the entire day.
Marco Gonzalez, an attorney for Olson’s mother, confirmed his client had not seen her son since January 2020 as she had been “denied access” to him “for many months.” A friend of Olson’s mother told The Daily Beast that Sarah is a “wonderful mother” who is “an emotional wreck right now.”
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Texas EquuSearch founder Tim Miller, who helped search for Olson and was with his father when the body was found, told KHOU-11 that after several interviews investigators realized Balboa’s story was fiction. He said he called out Balboa during one of the several interrogations she faced from police, telling her that “every word you’re saying is a lie.”
“And that’s when things started unraveling, I think,” he said.
On Tuesday, police executed a search warrant in an apartment where Balboa had been staying and also took the car they believe was used to transport the plastic container. Hours later, authorities found Olson and Balboa in the motel room.
According to Sarah Olson’s attorney, the boy’s mother is now just focusing on how “justice can be done for Samuel.”
“Theresa is in custody, but she also strongly believes that the adults, you know, the child’s father, should also be in custody, because she feels 100% that they both have something to do with this,” Gonzalez said on Wednesday. “So, she’s hoping, you know, praying that he also will be taken into custody.”
Read more at The Daily Beast.
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