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.
It was unclear where the children’s parents were or how long they had been gone from the apartment at the City Parc II apartments. Someone answering the phone at the management company hung up on a reporter.
“Somebody alerted us that we need to check that apartment,” Gonzalez said, though he added that he did not know who that person was.
Deputies sent to the scene found the three unsupervised minors and then saw the skeleton, which was out in open view. The age and cause of death of the dead child was unknown.
“It appears they were basically fending for each other. The older sibling was doing the best she could to take care of the others,” Gonzalez said.
“Our hearts break for those three.”