A 7-year-old boy was found dead inside of a washing machine just hours after his parents reported him missing Thursday.
At about 5.20am Thursday, the parents of Troy Khoeler filed a missing persons report with police, Lt Robert Minchew of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said during a .
When police officers arrived at the home of Troy’s parents in Spring, Texas, the distraught couple said the boy had been missing since about 4am.
After the parents partook in a brief interview for the missing persons report, deputies found there were ‘signs’ indicating that they should search the house in its entirety for the boy.
Minchew could not say what those signs were, or if it was standard procedure, but authorities also searched the immediate area outside the home for the boy.
‘Things that they observed led them to search the house thoroughly at that point. They found a deceased 7-year-old child in the washing machine in the garage,’ Minchew said.
Officers then secured the house and called in the homicide unit to investigate. The child’s parents were separated and detained, which is part of a standard procedure, Minchew said.
They will later be called in to the police station for a more thorough interview with authorities, he added.
‘It’s obviously a traumatic situation for the family and anybody involved. It’s just more conductive to get them away from the house,’ Minchew said of the parents.
According to authorities, Troy was, at one point, a foster child of the family before they adopted him in 2019.
The investigation into the tragedy is still in the early stages. Officials have not yet shared how the parents discovered the boy was missing, if they believe the boy got himself inside of the machine or if there was water in the machine.
Authorities also were unable to share whether they think he climbed into the top-loading washing machine or whether the top of the machine was open or closed at the time Troy was found.
Investigators declined to share if there were signs of foul play.
‘We don’t know what happened, but we intend to find out,’ Minchew said.
Only the boy’s mother and father were home at the time of the incident. He had no siblings that police were aware of, Minchew said. No arrests have been made.
Authorities are waiting for a medical examiner to determine a probable cause of death.
Earlier in the day when Troy was first reported missing, local officials shared missing persons reports on Twitter, which were later followed with the update of his death.
‘We are sad to report the missing 7 year old we posted on earlier in the 4400 block of Rosegate has been found deceased,’ wrote Mark Herman, the Harris County Constable for Precinct 4. ‘A criminal investigation is underway please avoid the area. We ask for everyone’s prayers for the family.’
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