A Texas couple has been arrested and charged four months after their 7-year-old foster son was found dead in a washing machine, the Harris County Sheriff said Tuesday.
Authorities charged Jemaine Thomas, 42, with capital murder, and Tiffany Thomas, 35, with injury to a child by omission after police found their 7-year-old son, Troy Koehler, dead in a washing machine at the family’s home in Spring, a census-designated place about 24 miles north of Houston, on July 28 after he had been reported missing, according to Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.
An autopsy conducted by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science ruled Troy’s death a homicide and that he “suffered new and previous injuries,” Gonzalez said in a tweet.
According to NBC affiliate KPRC of Houston, court documents state Troy experienced asphyxiation, blunt-force trauma and possible drowning, and that he had multiple bruises on his body and face injuries, authorities said.
Authorities also found blood on the washing machine and elsewhere in the home, KPRC reported.
Court documents state that deputies arrived at the scene around 5:20 a.m. in July and that the parents told them their son had been missing since 4 a.m., KPRC reported.
Authorities subsequently found him inside a top-load washing machine inside the garage, KPRC reported.
Documents show the parents were upset that Troy ate some of Tiffany’s oatmeal cream — and threatened to put the boy in an oven until he confessed — and that he ate Jemaine’s doughnut sticks, KPRC reported.
Text messages included in court documents obtained by KPRC show that, after finding out the boy ate the doughnuts, Jermaine wrote: “I need to get the (locks). I’m going to end up kill(ing) him.”
KPRC reported that Troy was a foster child and adopted in 2019.
Online jail records show that Tiffany is being held on $150,000 bond and has a court date set for Thursday. Authorities said she did not appear in court upon her arrest “for mental health reasons,” KPRC reported.
Jemaine is listed as an inmate in the Harris County Jail records but no charges are listed. KPRC reported that authorities said Jemaine’s bond has been set at $2 million.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to an inquiry.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com