Houston cops carrying out a welfare check on an apartment found a nightmare: three siblings abandoned and living with the skeletal remains of a fourth.
“A very horrific situation out here, very tragic,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said at a Sunday press conference. “I’ve been in this business a long time and I had never heard of a scenario like this. It really caught me by surprise.”
The surviving children were ages 15, 10, and 7, and they had been living in “deplorable conditions” for “quite a long time,” Gonzalez said. Asked whether he meant weeks, the sheriff said the kids were on their own for a much longer period of time.
“It seems they were in there while the body was deteriorating,” he said.
On Sunday afternoon, the 15-year-old called police and said he and his two younger siblings had been left home alone for several months and that his 9-year-old brother had died and his body had been left in the apartment for a year, deputies told KHOU.
Deputies sent to the scene at the City Parc II apartments found the three unsupervised minors and then saw the skeleton, which was out in open view.
The two surviving younger siblings showed signs of malnourishment and injury. All three surviving children were taken to the hospital, according to KHOU.
Their mother and her boyfriend were later found and questioned by authorities. Someone answering the phone at the management company hung up on a reporter.
“It appears they were basically fending for each other. The older sibling was doing the best he could to take care of the others,” Gonzalez said.
“Our hearts break for those three.”