SPRING, Texas – An hours-long search for a missing 7-year-old boy in the Houston area came to a tragic end after authorities found him dead inside of a washing machine at his family’s home.
According to Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman, the child, identified as Troy Khoeler, had been missing since 4 a.m. on Thursday.
Officials were called to the family’s home in the 4400 block of Rosegate Drive, in the Birnamwood subdivision, a little over an hour later after his parents couldn’t find him.
Constable deputies said there were “possible signs” that led them to search the home thoroughly for the child, according to KSAT’s sister station KPRC.
Around 7:20 a.m., deputies searched the garage, where they found Troy deceased inside of a top-load washing machine.
“We don’t know what happened but we intend to find out,” Herman said during a press conference.
Troy’s parents were taken into custody separately for questioning and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office was called to conduct an investigation.
It’s unknown if the child got into the washing machine by himself, whether there was water inside or if the lid was closed, KPRC reports. Investigators also haven’t revealed if there were signs of foul play.
The child doesn’t have any other siblings. He was a foster child and was possibly adopted in 2019, according to officials. The cause of his death is still pending from the medical examiner.
Deputies said Troy’s family does have a history with Child Protective Services, though further details are limited. We’ll bring more updates to this story as they become available.