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Samuel Olson update: Prosecutor will present Theresa Balboa case to DA, grand jury

Theresa Balboa, the girlfriend of the boy's father, is charged with capital murder in the death of the 5-year-old.

HOUSTON — Theresa Balboa made her first court appearance since she was charged with capital murder in the death of 5-year-old Samuel Olson.

Prosecutors with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said on Monday morning a bond on the capital murder charge has not been set yet. The judge did determine there was probable cause for the capital murder charge.

However, Balboa will remain in custody on a tampering with evidence – human corpse charge. Balboa is also waiting to have an attorney appointed to her.

Samuel Olson’s body was found in June in a plastic bin inside a Jasper motel room. He was reported missing five days before the discovery was made.

Balboa, who was the girlfriend of the boy's father, was taken into custody at the motel and was charged with tampering with evidence at that time. She's the one who reported Samuel was missing, but police said there were holes in her story from the beginning.

RELATED: Updated Timeline: What happened to Samuel Olson?

Prosecutor Andrea Beall said she will next present the case to District Attorney Kim Ogg to determine if they will seek the death penalty on the capital murder charge.

After that, the case will then be presented to a grand jury, which the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure requires.

Credit: KHOU
Theresa Balboa made her first court appearance since she was charged with capital murder in the death of 5-year-old Samuel Olson.

Following Balboa’s court hearing, Bell said she was confident she could meet the burden in this case.

“I was reviewing the evidence in terms of the laboratory evidence and cell phones that we have received, making sure that we could in fact corroborate the statements of Benjamin Rivera in regard to who was responsible for the death of Samuel Olson, and after reviewing that I am confident that I can meet my burden in this case and get justice for little Samuel,” Beall said.

Rivera is Balboa’s roommate, who also faces a tampering with evidence – human corpse charge for his alleged role in Samuel Olson’s death. 

The prosecutor said Balboa called Rivera and said she killed Samuel. They were able to corroborate that by looking at cell phone evidence

Beall said the charge against Rivera will not be upgraded at this time. When asked if anyone else will be charged in the case, Beall responded, "I don't believe so."

According to the initial autopsy report, Samuel died from "homicidal violence with blunt head trauma."

According to new court documents, Sam was struck with a blunt object.

On May 28, the day after the boy was reported missing, Rivera, told detectives that Samuel died on or around May 10. He said Balboa called him at work that day to tell him Samuel was dead. The roommate said when he returned home to their apartment in Webster, he saw Samuel’s bruised body lying on a bed. He said he and Balboa placed the body in a bathtub for a couple of days.

The roommate told police he went to Walmart and bought a plastic bin and duct tape. The receipt was found during the investigation. He said he and Balboa wrapped Samuel's body in a plastic sheet and put it in the bin. He said they took it to a storage unit at 16650 Highway 3 in Webster.

A third suspect, Dylan Walker, said he booked a room for Balboa under his name at the Best Western Inn on West Gibson Street in Jasper. A surveillance camera showed a man and woman get out of a truck registered to that man and drag a plastic bin into Room 106. It was approximately 3:30 a.m.

Walker said he drove Balboa to Jasper went home and called Crime Stoppers and told them they could find her at the Best Western. Jasper police questioned Balboa before finding the body of a child in room 106. They contacted HPD and the Texas Rangers, who headed to Jasper. Balboa was taken into custody.

Rivera was arrested and charged with tampering with evidence - a human corpse. He made his first court appearance on June 23 where his bond was set at $100,000. He bonded out a day later.

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