Samuel Olson, who was reported missing last week, was found dead in a Texas motel room on Tuesday. Police discovered the body at the Best Western in Jasper, and reports claim the body had been there for a while.
According to reports, the body was stuffed in a tote bag and left inside the motel, and forensic examiners are still attempting to identify the body, though police believe it is the missing child. An anonymous tip led the police 135 miles northeast from the boy’s Houston home, though no charges in his death have been filed.
Samuel Olson’s father, Dalton, reported his son missing on May 27 from Southwest Houston, claiming that someone had taken his son, though authorities had no leads at the time. A conflicting account claims that Dalton’s girlfriend, Theresa Balboa, was the one who issued the report, from the 8800 block of McAvoy Drive in Houston. As of May 31, investigators were still attempting to locate the 6-year-old boy but were still coming up short.
A media briefing by the Houston Police, posted to Twitter Monday, expressed sincere fear for the boy’s wellbeing and requested any information on the missing child. At the time, the local investigators had spoken with various individuals connected to Samuel, including his birth mother and father, grandmother, and Dalton’s girlfriend, Theresa Balboa.
Balboa has since been arrested in Jasper County for allegedly lying during the investigation, and faces charges of tampering with evidence, among other possible charges. Dalton Olson is not currently a suspect in Samuel’s disappearance, though, and no motive for Balboa’s tampering has been identified. It is also likely that Balboa is being investigated for the alleged homicide of Samuel. Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said that a possible suspect is in custody, but did not identify the individual.
According to reports, Samuel Olson was last seen at his elementary school on April 30, though his grandmother claims she saw him the following weekend. Dalton claims that “the last time I physically had my hands on Sam” was May 2, though that story conflicts with his mother’s account.
Samuel’s grandmother on his dad’s side claimed his father had picked him up after May 2, but insists that the father had nothing to do with Samuel’s disappearance. “Dalton is not a bad father,” she explained to FOX. “He would never harm that baby. He loves him to death. He would die for him.”
Police originally believed the case was a custody dispute between Samuel Olson’s mother, Sarah Olson, and his father. A story, which originated from Balboa, claimed that Samuel’s biological mother arrived at the Houston house with someone dressed as a police officer.
“I was going to take Sam to school when his mother showed up with the police officer, or who I was under the impression to be a police officer, and they demanded me to release Sam,” Balboa told ABC News. Sarah, who spoke through her attorney, claimed that the last time she saw her son was in January 2020, despite having joint custody with her ex-husband.
Balboa said that since she had no legal rights to Samuel, she had to give him up to his mother. Investigators have been unable to corroborate Balboa’s story. Sarah claimed she had no idea where her son was.
Authorities interviewed Theresa Balboa several times, and when her story did not add up, they issued a warrant for her arrest. Further evidence also proved that on May 27, when Balboa alleged Samuel’s mom had come to take him, Sarah was at her home. Authorities then executed the search warrant, towing Balboa’s 2012 Dodge Avenger and searching her home in the 15000 Block of Gulf Freeway.
Officials are now working to bring Balboa back to Harris County, where she will face charges of tampering with evidence, and Harris County District Attorney’s Office will determine if more charges will be filed.
Though Samuel’s father, Dalton Olson is not a prime suspect in his son’s disappearance and possible murder, investigators have continued to question him in an attempt to get a clearer picture of otherwise very cloudy events.
“I’ve literally tried to do everything from the very beginning to do what’s best for my son,” the father admitted during an interview before Samuel’s body was found. “That is my whole world and I can’t imagine if anything happened to him and I believe he’s still out there.”
Though evidence is limited, one report claims that the boy was seen at a Gulf Breeze apartment in southeast Houston, which belongs to one of Balboa’s friends.
According to Texas EquuSearch founder Tim Miller, “I’ve worked many, many of these cases. I don’t have a good feeling. Nobody can find out anybody that’s credible that can tell us the last time he was seen and where.”
This is a developing story. Those with information on Samuel Olson’s disappearance are asked to call HPD Missing Persons at 832-394-1840.