The skeletal remains discovered in the Texas apartment where three children were living are believed to be their 9-year-old brother — and he may have died a year ago, authorities said Monday.
The oldest of the children — a 15-year-old boy — contacted authorities to alert them that his brother had been dead for a year in the Houston apartment that he shared with his siblings, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.
When deputies arrived Sunday, they discovered the remains of a “small child” consistent with the description that the teen provided, Gonzalez said.
Deputies located the 15-year-old, as well as his brothers, ages 10 and 7.
“Both appeared malnourished and showed signs of physical injury,” Gonzalez tweeted. “All three were transported to a hospital to be assessed and treated for their injuries.”
The brothers are now in the county’s custody.
Gonzalez said it’s believed that the children had been living without their parents for several months, forcing the eldest son to act as the caretaker for his brothers.
“Our hearts break for those three. They are still children,” the sheriff said.
The mother and her boyfriend have been located and brought in for questioning, news station KTRK reported.