A 7-year-old boy who was reported missing by his parents has been found dead inside a washing machine in the family home in Spring, Texas.
7-year-old Troy Khoeler was reported missing by his parents at approximately 5.20am on Thursday, Lieutenant Robert Minchew of the Harris County Sheriff's Office said in a press conference. When officers arrived at the family home in Spring, Texas, the distraught parents told police that Troy had been missing since around 4am. After filing a missing person report and holding a brief interview with the parents, officers found there were "signs" indicating that they should search the entirety of the home for the missing boy.
Lieutenant Minchew said he could not disclose what those signs were, or if it was standard procedure, but officers also searched the immediate area outside the home for Troy. Mr Minchew said: "Things that they observed led them to search the house thoroughly at that point. They found a deceased 7-year-old child in the washing machine in the garage." The homicide unit was then called in to investigate and the house was secured by police.
Both parents were separated and detained by officers, which is part of a standard procedure, Minchew said. He added that the parents will be called to the police station for a more thorough interview. When talking about the parents, Minchew said: "It's obviously a traumatic situation for the family and anybody involved. It's just more conducive to get them away from the house."
Officials said that initially, Troy was a foster child with the family before they adopted him in 2019.
Officials have not yet disclosed how the parents discovered Troy was missing, or if they believe the boy climbed into the washing machine by himself, or if he was put there.
When asked if police believed there were any signs of foul play, they declined to comment. Minchew said: "We don't know what happened, but we intend to find out."
The Lieutenant said that they believed it was only Troy in the property with his parents when the incident happened, and as far as they were aware he had no siblings. Authorities are waiting for a medical examiner to determine a probable cause of death.