6:31 AM PDT, June 5, 2021
The father of Samuel Olson, the Texas boy who was reported missing two days ahead of his sixth birthday and believed found dead in a Jasper motel room Tuesday, is facing an onslaught of criticism on social media for his perceived actions, and lack thereof, in the case of his missing son.
Samuel Olson was last seen alive by someone outside of his family on April 30. It was the last day he attended Holbrook Elementary School, authorities said.
Dalton Olson called police to his mother’s southwest Houston home on May 27 to report his son missing. Also there was his girlfriend, Theresa Balboa, who has been charged with tampering with evidence after remains believed to be Samuel’s were found in a Jasper motel room more than 130 miles away from his home.
The day after reporting his son missing, Dalton Olson took to social media to appeal to the public to help find Samuel.
Sharing a Facebook post by Texas EquuSearch, a nonprofit organization that joined in the search for Samuel, Dalton Olson wrote, “Pleas[sic] help [me] find my son and bring him home safe.”
The post has become a sounding board for armchair sleuths convinced Dalton Olson knows more than he’s let on in the case of his son. Others have criticized him for not doing enough to protect his child.
“Fess up,” one comment read.
“I pray you get justice for what you did!” another posted.
“There was a restraining order so he knew she was abusive,” someone wrote, presumably referencing an incident in which Balboa was charged with assault in November 2020 for allegedly choking Dalton Olson. Dalton reported the incident to police and obtained a restraining order against her, court records show.
She was released in lieu of $15,000 bail, according to the records. Her arraignment in that case is scheduled for June 24.
Under the terms of the court’s protective order, she was to have no contact with Olson and was to stay away from his residence. The couple told reporters on Monday they had since reconciled and the pending case had nothing to do with Samuel.
Balboa initially told investigators that Samuel’s biological mother and a uniformed officer had arrived at the house early that morning and demanded custody of the boy.
“I was going to take Sam to school when his mother showed up with a police officer, or what I was under the impression to be a police officer, and they demanded me to release Sam,” Balboa told reporters days later as volunteers searched for Sam.
“They had a full police uniform. They had a gun, handcuffs, everything. I thought it was a Harris County police officer because on the badge it said Harris County,” she said. “I had no choice but to hand him over,” she said, because Olson and the child’s mother were in a custody battle.
Balboa would later say the man was a fake cop. Days later, Houston Police Department Assistant Chief Heather Morris said investigators were provided with evidence showing Samuel’s mom did not leave her house that morning. The mother, Sarah Olson, said she did not know her son’s whereabouts, Morris said.
Balboa, 29, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the apparent death of little Samuel, police said. She was taken into custody after Jasper County Sheriff’s deputies in Texas found what were believed to be the boy’s remains stuffed inside a plastic container at a Best Western motel room, authorities said.
Balboa was at the scene, according to Heather Morris, assistant chief of the Houston Police Department.
An arrest warrant affidavit obtained by local media outlets said Balboa’s roommate told investigators he arrived home May 10 to find Samuel bruised and unresponsive on the bed. He and Balboa put the boy’s body in a bathtub and left him there for two days, according to the reports.
On May 13, the roommate said he bought duct tape and a plastic box from a Walmart, and he and Balboa wrapped up the child’s body, placed it in the box and took it to a storage unit.
Court documents obtained by KTRK-TV say Balboa left the search site on May 31 after talking to reporters and met a friend, who accompanied her to a storage unit. The pair picked up a black-and-yellow plastic container that had a foul odor, the court records said. The friend then drove Balboa to the Best Western motel in Jasper and left her there, the documents said.
He called police June 1, which led police to room 106, where Balboa and the remains were found, according to authorities.
Dalton Olson spoke out after Balboa’s arrest.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” the father told KPRC-TV Wednesday. Asked what he would say to Balboa, the dad replied, “Why? He loved you so much. I do not understand what happened. Why did you, why did you do this?”
Dalton Olson has not been charged in the case and Houston Police said he is not a person of interest. Houston Police also said that more charges could be filed in the case.
“He had nothing to do with the death of his son,” Dalton Olson’s attorney Samuel Veenstra said, according to KPRC.
“[The] family is in mourning, shocked and in disbelief.”