HOUSTON - Authorities are piecing together a deadly and horrific scene in west Harris County where a shocking discovery was made at an apartment.
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says three children were found abandoned at an apartment in the 3500 block of Green Crest near Westpark Tollway on Sunday. Skeletal remains that appear to be from another child were also discovered inside the apartment, the Sheriff added.
During a press conference on Sunday, the Sheriff seemed at a loss for words from the incident, calling it "troubling" and "horrific."
Sheriff Gonzalez noted the investigation is currently in the preliminary stages to find out how the children, between the ages of 7, 10, and 15-years-old were left behind and for how long.
According to the sheriff’s office, the 15-year-old boy called authorities around 3:15 p.m. Sunday and said that his 9-year-old brother had been dead for a year and his body was in the room next to his. The 15-year-old said that his parents had not lived in the apartment with him and his two siblings for several months, HCSO says.
Authorities say the skeletal remains of a small child found in the apartment appear consistent with the age provided by the 15-year-old.
The Sheriff was unable to disclose exactly how long the children were left behind, but based on the deplorable conditions inside the apartment were there for "an extended period of time." It did appear the children had food available, but currently, it's unclear how they were surviving.
The three children were transported to the hospital to be assessed and treated. Authorities say the two younger children appeared malnourished and showed signs of physical injury.
According to the sheriff's office, the children's mother and her boyfriend were interviewed by homicide investigators and released.
No charges have been filed.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office Homicide Unit, Child Abuse Unit, and Crime Scene Unit responded to the scene and are conducting the investigation.
The child's manner and cause of death will be determined by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.