An investigation is underway after a seven-year-old Houston boy was found dead in his family’s washer machine.
Troy Khoeler was reported missing shortly after 5:00 a.m. Thursday morning. He’d disappeared from his home on Rosegate Drive in the Birnam Wood subdivision, according to his parents. His adoptive father, Jermaine Thomas, said he couldn’t find the boy after returning home shortly before midnight Wednesday. Thomas says he noticed the front door was not locked.
“It’s just that I came home, I was fixin’ to walk in the door like right now, I don’t have my keys, but I put my keys to the door handle, and then it just open. Anything else after that, I don’t know,” Thomas told a local news station.
Lt. Robert Minchew of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit stated that “things they observed” in the home led them to conduct a search. At 7:20 a.m., investigators located Khoeler’s lifeless body inside the top-loader washer in the garage. He was fully clothed, but Minchew would not disclose whether or not the washer door was open or closed. He says it is too early in the investigation to determine if foul play was involved.
Authorities say the boy was a foster child being cared for by the family and was possibly adopted by them in 2019, though they could not confirm an official adoption had taken place.
Both parents were questioned separately but were released. At this time, no one has been charged with Khoeler’s death. An autopsy is being performed to determine exactly how he died.