Before she was arrested in connection with missing Houston boy Samuel Olson, Theresa Balboa planned to travel to Louisiana with the 5-year-old’s body, new court documents reveal.
A motion for bail obtained by The Daily Beast alleges that after having her roommate help her hide the boy’s body, she schemed to flee the state of Texas with the remains. But her plan was foiled Tuesday night, when authorities found her and the body inside a Jasper, Texas, hotel room, authorities said.
While Balboa has only been charged with tampering with evidence, law enforcement officials with knowledge of the case have indicated to The Daily Beast that Balboa may face upgraded charges as soon as Friday. A judge on Friday set Balboa’s bond at $500,000, and she has been transferred to Harris County Jail.
A lawyer for Sarah Olson, the boy’s mother, said the stunning new details of the tragic case have put her client’s world “at a standstill.”
“The whole situation is surreal. Sarah is heartbroken and as news comes out every day she is just becoming more numb,” Marco González told The Daily Beast on Friday. “A lot of emotion, a lot of tears, but a lot of anger as well.”
Police say that while Olson is now believed to have died around May 10, it took Balboa about 17 days to admit something was amiss to her boyfriend and the child’s father, Dalton Olson. 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.
“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 told reporters on Monday while accompanying a search for the boy. “They had a full police uniform. They had a gun, handcuffs, everything. I had no choice but to hand him over.”
Authorities later determined that Sarah Olson did not pick up her son from her estranged husband’s house. Sarah Olson’s attorney added that when she learned of Balboa]s story, she was “beside herself and she told me at the moment she knew something horrible had went wrong with her son because that story was completely fabricated.”
The lawyer added that Sarah’s relationship with her estranged husband was “completely hostile.”
“Dalton made Sarah out to be a crazy person trying to steal her child back,” he said. “So when Sarah saw Dalton and Theresa going on TV and asking crying for the cameras—she told me she knew in her gut something was wrong.”
“The whole act in front of the cameras just seemed like a diversionary tactic. For them to waste resources and have people search everywhere for Samuel when we now know he was already dead—it’s wild,” he added.
Samuel’s father released a statement through his lawyer on Friday denying any involvement in the child’s death.
“He had nothing to do with the death of his son,” attorney Samuel Veenstra said of Dalton Olson, adding that the “family is in mourning, shocked and in disbelief” and “wanting answers as to what happened and why.”
A criminal complaint obtained by The Daily Beast states that in the middle of the search for Samuel, Balboa called a friend and asked for a ride home after insisting she had been in a fight.
The friend told authorities he picked Balboa up at a Walmart parking lot, and the pair went to the storage unit, where they retrieved a large, foul-smelling plastic container and put it 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 she had Olson, the complaint states.
Inside her motel room, one officer “detected an odor that through his experience in law enforcement… to be possible decomposing human remains” and found Balboa in the bathroom, the complaint states. Officers then found the container, where they discovered what is believed to be the body of the missing 5-year-old, who was wrapped in black plastic bags and secured with duct tape. Balboa was immediately arrested.
González said that Dalton Olson called Sarah several times on Friday, but she refuses to answer.
“Dalton has been calling her and today and left a couple of voicemails wanting for them to work in unison on funeral arrangements,” he said. “She is not going to answer his calls, she is not returning his calls, she is not going to speak with him until he comes clean about what happened with her son.”