12:19 PM PDT, July 9, 2021
Capital murder charges have been filed against Theresa Balboa in connection with the killing of 5-year-old Samuel Olson, whose decomposed body was found in a plastic storage bin, authorities said. Balboa was the girlfriend of Sam’s dad, and was found in a Texas motel room with the container as she tried to flee the state, investigators said.
Balboa, 29, has been in custody since June 1, when Sam’s “foul-smelling” remains were found in a Jasper County Best Western motel. She had been charged with evidence tampering involving a human corpse. The murder count was filed Thursday and marks the first time anyone has been accused of killing the boy, who was reported missing on May 27 by his dad, Dalton Olson, and Balboa.
Prosecutors now say the child died on or around May 12, after Balboa struck him with a blunt object, according to the Harris County criminal complaint.
Prosecutors also asked that Balboa be held without bail. Her next court appearance was scheduled for Monday.
Sarah Olson, the boy’s mother, said Friday she was angry that her ex-husband has not been charged in connection with their son’s killing. The parents were involved in a bitter custody dispute, with the mother saying Dalton Olson had kidnapped their son a year ago and refused to return him.
“I am thankful for (Balboa) getting charged for the murder, but I know for a fact someone else needs to be charged and he’s still out there just running around free,” Olson said. “It’s Sam’s father. It’s Dalton Olson. He was supposed to keep our son safe, and he didn’t. He took him away from me, for what? To have him murdered?”
The emotional mother said she now has Sam’s cremated remains and a private service would be held Friday evening. “It hurts. It hurts having to do this. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.”
Dalton Olson and Balboa initially told investigators that Balboa had been confronted on the morning of May 27 by 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 in June.
Balboa’s public defender, Robert Scott, did not return a phone message left Friday by Inside Edition Digital.
Sarah Olson told reporters Friday that her ex-husband had put their son “in harm’s way,” by leaving him with Balboa, who had been charged with felony assault in November for allegedly choking Dalton Olson, according to court records, and was under a restraining order to have no contact with him or his family.
Balboa was out on bond for that charge when she was arrested in connection with Samuel’s death. Dalton Olson later told investigators Samuel had been staying with Balboa since April 30, the last time anyone outside of his family saw him alive.
Two men have been also been charged with tampering with a human corpse, both of them friends of Balboa, authorities said. The men allegedly helped Balboa move Sam’s body, according to court documents. Both are free on bail pending their trials and have been cooperating with investigators, according to prosecutors.
“We just want all those who are responsible to be held accountable,” Sam’s mother said.
Asked how she is getting by during this traumatic time, the mom replied, “My faith in God is strong. I don’t know how I’m standing here talking to you. I don’t know, other than that I have faith in God,” she said.
“Life is hard. And it’s gotten a lot harder.”