The girlfriend of a dad whose six year-old son vanished carried a foul-smelling plastic bin containing a child’s corpse into a motel room, court papers say.
Theresa Balboa – who lost custody of her two young daughters in 2019, according to other newly revealed papers – was caught on camera meeting a male friend outside a Walmart in Cleveland, Texas, on Tuesday evening.
A body believed to belong to Samuel Olson, who would have turned six on Saturday, was found in Balboa’s motel room shortly afterwards. Balboa was dating Olson’s dad Dalton Olson, with Samuel, from Houston last seen alive on April 30.
The Walmart pal, who has not been named, helped Balboa load the black container, which had a yellow plastic lid, onto the back of his truck, then drove her to a Best Western motel in Jasper, Texas.
Once there, the box was carried inside room 106, with the man so horrified by the smell coming from it that he made an anonymous call to CrimeStoppers tipline to report it.
It is unclear when that call was made, but cops raided the motel on Tuesday and found Balboa close to the box.
When officers acting on that tip arrived on the scene, they reportedly found the plastic container in the room and Balboa in the bathroom.
Upon removing the lid, which was secured with zip ties, police were said to have found a small body stuffed inside a black plastic bag and wrapped in duct tape.
Theresa Balboa arrested by cops in Jasper shortly afterwards, and has since been charged with evidence tampering. More serious charges are expected to follow after the body has been identified, and a cause of death determined.
Police in Texas on Tuesday found a body that is suspected of being that of missing Samuel Olson, 6 (left). Theresa Balboa (pictured right in her new mugshot), the girlfriend of Samuel’s father, has been arrested and charged with evidence tampering
Police recovered the remains believed to be that of Samuel wrapped with duct tape and stuffed inside a black plastic bin in room 106 at this Best Western motel in Jasper, Texas
The map above shows the four locations associated with the search for missing Samuel Olson
Meanwhile, it has now emerged that Balboa had custody issues of her own.
Court records obtained by Click2Houston revealed that Balboa lost custody of her two daughters in 2019 after failing to show up to court.
The father of Balboa’s children was also a no-show, and the children were given to a family member, who was appointed their guardian.
The woman told the station that Balboa was not taking good care of her daughters, now aged six and eight.
TIMELINE OF SAMUEL OLSON CASE:
April 30: Samuel Olson, 5, seen for the last time by anyone outside his family
May 8-9: Samuel’s paternal grandmother, Tonya Olson, says she spent the weekend with her grandson
May 27: Theresa Balboa, girlfriend of Samuel’s father, Dalton Olson, reports him missing in Houston
June 1: Police in Jasper, Texas, receive anonymous tip that leads them to Best Western motel, where they find Balboa and later child’s body in a plastic bin
‘She wasn’t born to be a mom,’ the guardian said.
Shortly before the discovery of the child’s body and Balboa’s arrest, Tim Miller, the founder of the volunteer search group Texas Equus, was said to have confronted the woman about apparent inconsistencies in her story concerning Samuel’s disappearance.
‘I told her, I said, “I’m so damn disappointed in you,”’ Miller told KHOUE11. ‘I said, “You know, every word you’re saying is a lie.” And that’s when things started unravelling, I think.’
Balboa, who at the time was out on bond stemming from a domestic violence incident, was the one who reported the child missing on May 27, although the boy’s last verified sighting was on April 30 at his school.
Balboa claimed that Samuel’s mother, Sarah Olson, and a person dressed as a police officer showed up and took the boy from the home.
Sarah Olson said through her attorney that she did not know the whereabouts of her son, and that despite having primary custody of him, she had been denied access to him by his father since January 2020.
Samuel’s father, Dalton Olson (pictured with his girlfriend Balboa before the grim find) said the six-year-old is his ‘whole world.’ He has not been named a suspect
Sarah Olson, Samuel’s birth mother (pictured together, left), said through a lawyer that she had primary custody of the boy but had not seen him since January 2020
Balboa is currently jailed in Jasper County, but she will be returned to Houston to face the evidence tampering charge, but Houston Assistant Police Chief Heather Morris said during a press conference on Wednesday that more charges are possible once an autopsy is complete.
Samuel’s family have spoken out after the discovery of the body presumed to be his, revealing their devastation.
‘[I am] shocked and so many other things that words cannot explain at the moment,’ Tonya Olson, the boy’s paternal grandmother, told CNN. ‘We are grieving as a family. None of us can wrap our heads around this. My son or anyone in our family had absolutely nothing to do with this.’
Miller, the founder of Texas Equus, said that he was with Samuel’s paternal relatives after the discovery of the body and witnessed their heartache firsthand.
‘It was just devastating over there last night and seeing dad go through all the pain and grief and everything he was going through,’ Miller said, referring to Dalton Olson, the boy’s father.
Assistant Police Chief Morris said Dalton Olson is not considered a person of interest in his death at this time, but investigators continue to speak with him. No motive has been disclosed so far.
Samuel’s biological mother, Sarah Olson, released a statement through her attorney, demanding justice for her son.
‘I do not want people to forget Samuel’s name,’ she stated. ‘Please Let the outside world know that I’m a heartbroken, but I believe that body is my baby.’
Balboa reported Samuel missing on May 27 in the 8800 block of McAvoy Drive in Houston, having claimed the boy was taken by his biological mother and a person dressed as a police officer.
Dalton Olson is pictured embracing his mother, Tonya,, with his girlfriend standing on the side. Tonya Olson said the family are devastated
Cops were unable to verify Balboa’s version of events.
The last confirmed sighting of Samuel was April 30 at Holbrook Elementary School.
Samuel’s paternal grandmother claimed he was with her the following weekend, May 8-9, and that she then heard his voice on the phone a little over a week ago.
On Monday, police executed a search warrant at an apartment where Balboa has been living with a friend and impounded her Dodge sedan.
Court records uncovered by Click2Houston indicate that Balboa was charged with assault of a family member – impeding breathing in November 2020 after she allegedly choked Dalton Olson.
Balboa was charged with assault of a family member – impeding breathing in November 2020 after she allegedly choked Dalton Olson. Olson was said to have been issued an emergency protective order against Balboa. The woman is pictured in previous mugshots
Olson was said to have been issued an emergency protective order against Balboa, barring her from having direct contact with the victim or any member of his family.
When asked about the order prior to the discovery of the body in the motel, Olson said that he and Balboa have reconciled, and that the choking incident had nothing to do with his son, who was not present during that altercation.
Olson further defended Balboa, saying that she had been helping him care for his son while he was at work.