3 children found abandoned in apartment with the remains of another child in Texas, sheriff says

“I had never heard of a scenario like this. It really took me by surprise,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said at a press conference on Sunday.

The sheriff’s office says the children are 15, 10 and 7 and are siblings.

In a press release, the sheriff’s office said the 15-year-old had called authorities and said his 9-year-old brother had been dead for a year and his body was in the room next to his. The teenager said his parents had not lived in the apartment for several months.

“It looks like they were there as the body deteriorated,” Gonzalez said.

Investigators found the uncovered body in the apartment, Gonzalez said. He didn’t know how or when the child died.

“It appears that the remains have been there for an extended period, and I insist on the duration,” he said. When asked if he meant weeks, he replied “much longer than that”.

Gonzalez said it seemed the 15-year-old took care of his younger siblings the best he could.

“It seems they were basically defending themselves against each other,” Gonzalez said, adding that the children were living in “pretty deplorable conditions”.

The two youngest children appeared to be malnourished and showed signs of physical injuries, the sheriff’s office said. The three children were taken to hospital for treatment.

The sheriff’s office says the mother of the children and her boyfriend have been found and are being questioned. The cause of the child’s death is under investigation.

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