12:59 PM PDT, June 25, 2021
A third person has been arrested in connection with the murder investigation of 5-year-old Samuel Olson, whose decomposing remains were found in a motel room earlier this month, authorities said.
Dylan Walker, 27 was arrested Thursday on one count of tampering with evidence involving a human corpse, Texas state police told Inside Edition Digital. He was released Friday on $125,000 bail, according to local reports.
Walker faces a similar charge to two others arrested in the case. Theresa Balbo, 29, the girlfriend of Sam’s dad, has been charged with tampering with evidence and remains in the Houston County Jail in lieu of $600,000 bail. Benjamin Rivera, 27, Balboa’s roommate, faces the same count. He was released Thursday on $100,000 bail.
Walker is cited in court documents as a friend of Balboa’s who answered her call for help and met her in a Walmart parking lot on May 31. He allegedly drove her to a storage unit where he helped her load a plastic bin “with a foul odor” into his truck and then drove her to a Jasper Best Western motel on June 1, where he rented a room for her in his name and helped her move the bin into the room, according to the criminal complaint filed against Balboa, which cites an interview with Walker conducted by law enforcement investigators.
Walker allegedly told investigators he left Balboa at the motel and later called Crime Stoppers to report her whereabouts, the complaint said.
Jasper County Sheriff’s deputies went to the motel June 1 and discovered Balboa in the room with the bin, which contained Samuel’s decomposing remains, authorities said.
Additional charges are expected to be filed against the woman, prosecutors have said.
At Thursday’s bond hearing, Rivera was ordered to house arrest and must wear a GPS tracking monitor. He also was ordered to have no contact with anyone under age 17 and to stay away from Balboa and Dalton Olson, Samuel’s father.
Rivera allegedly told homicide detectives that Samuel had been dead for weeks before Dalton Olson reported his son missing on May 27, two days before the little boy would have turned 6.
Dalton Olson and Balboa told investigators that Balboa had been confronted that morning by Sam’s mother, Sarah Olson, and a uniformed officer, who demanded custody of the child, authorities said.
Balboa’s statement would later prove to be false, investigators said. Five days later, she was discovered with Samuel’s decomposed body, authorities said.
Dalton Olson, through his attorney, has denied any involvement in Samuel’s death, which was deemed a violent homicide caused by blunt head trauma, according to autopsy results publicly released earlier this month.
No one has been charged with killing the child.
During questioning, Rivera allegedly told investigators he had been called at work on May 10 by Balboa, who said Samuel was unresponsive and he needed to come home immediately.
After returning to their apartment, Rivera said he saw Samuel’s bruised body lying on a bed and he helped Balboa place the child in a bathtub, where he remained for two days, according to the charging document filed by prosecutors.
Rivera told police he went to Walmart on May 13 and bought duct tape and a plastic tote, and that he and Balboa placed Samuel’s body inside and then drove to a storage locker, where the container remained until May 31, the document said.
Prosecutors also said detectives obtained text messages from Rivera’s cellphone showing he and Balboa discussed moving the child’s body.