A 7-year-old boy who was reported missing from his home in north Harris County was found dead just hours later in a washing machine in the garage, authorities say.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit, the Crime Scene Unit and the Precinct 4 Constable’s Office are conducting an investigation at the home in the 4400 block of Rosegate Drive in the Birnamwood Subdivision.
According to the constable’s office, Troy Khoeler was reported missing early Thursday morning.
The sheriff’s office says the boy’s parents reported him missing around 5:20 a.m., but he may have been missing for at least an hour at that point.
"We don’t know what happened but we intend to find out," says Lt. Robert Minchew with HCSO Homicide division.
The constable’s office responded to the scene to gather information and began searching for the boy.
Authorities say constable deputies were searching inside the home when they found the boy inside the top-loading washing machine.
It is not clear at this time how the boy died or how he ended up in the washing machine.
The sheriff’s office says the boy was a foster child who may have been adopted in 2019.
According to HCSO, the father was at home, and the mom is believed to be a local hospital worker who just got off her shift when he was reported missing. . "I don’t even know what to say. It hurt me to my soul that a child, a 7 year old child would be hurt that way," says neighbor Sheri Barnes.
Troy and Kenyetta Hewett’s son Marvin were schoolmates. "He (Marvin) was heartbroken when we saw it on the news so he actually got one of his toys and he wanted to come and lay it here in remembrance," Hewett says. Detectives say there doesn’t appear to be forced entry into the doors or windows of the home where little Troy lived first as a foster child and investigators say he was adopted by the couple in 2019.
No one has been arrested, as of this writing.
"The parents have been separated and detained, which is standard procedure and they’ll be taken to our office downtown for further interview," says Lt. Minchew.
An investigation continues as authorities try to find out how this little boy who lived a tough life in foster care has now met such a tragic end, dead at only 7 years old inside the family washing machine. They say they will release that information after an autopsy conducted by the Medical Examiner’s Office is complete.
Spring ISD says little Troy's death is a great loss to the district and counselors are being provided to students and staff impacted by the tragedy.