Neighbors Brought Food to Kids Abandoned in Texas Apartment Who Were Found with Remains of Brother, 9 

No arrests have been made

Three kids found abandoned with skeletal remains, says sheriff
Photo: KHOU 11/Youtube

Before he called authorities to report that his younger brother had been dead for a year, the 15-year-old Texas teen who was found living with two other siblings and human remains relied on his neighbors for food.

One neighbor, Erica Chapman, told KTRK she had been giving the 15-year-old packaged food for six months, not knowing he had other mouths to feed.

According to the Harris County Sheriff's Department, the teenager called authorities on Sunday to report that his 9-year-old brother had been dead for a year. Upon arrival, deputies found the 15-year-old and two other children abandoned in the apartment.

They also discovered the skeletal remains of a 9-year-old boy.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters Sunday about the "very horrific situation," explaining that the kids were ages 15, 10 and 7, and had been left alone "for an extended period of time."

On Monday morning, Gonzalez shared updates in the case, saying that the mom of the children and her boyfriend were located late Sunday night, after which they were interviewed and then released. Gonzalez added that the 15-year-old told authorities that the remains belonged to his younger brother who "had been dead for a year and his body was in the room next to his."

Gonzalez said that the three boys were taken to the hospital and they appeared "malnourished and showed signs of physical injury."

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While it remains unclear who had custody of the children, Chapman revealed she rarely saw the children's mother.

"She would come and park, and he would run down and grab noodles, drinks and chips and run back up," Chapman told the station.

"After finding out what happened [Sunday], I think he was more nervous and scared," she said, the station reports. "Are they going to blame me for this? Are my parents going to punish me for this? Maybe his parents told him they would be separated if he told anyone."

Chapman said had she known what was going on she would have called authorities.

"I didn't want to push him away by asking questions because I knew he was starving and needed food," she said.

Another neighbor, Trevor Thompson, echoed Chapman's sentiments.

"A few times I noticed the lights weren't on, and it was quiet upstairs, so I figured there was trouble because the parents haven't been there in a while," Thompson said, KTRK reports. "One day, he came here and knocked on the door and asked if he could use the charger, and we built a bond from there. I started offering him food because I knew he needed more than just a charger."

Thompson told KTRK that the teen was paranoid and would only accept certain food out of fear of being poisoned.

Once he gave the teen a pizza. When Thompson asked if he liked the pizza, the teen replied: "'What? The first pizza we had?'"

"That made me wonder why would he say, 'We.'" Thompson told KTRK.

The sheriff's homicide unit, child abuse unit and crime scene unit are involved in the ongoing investigation, as well as Child Protective Services.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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