THE stepmom of missing Samuel Olson allegedly choked his father and was hit with a restraining order just months before the six-year-old boy vanished.
Samuel Olson was reported missing in Houston, Texas, last week by his stepmother Teresa Balboa, 29 – but police believe the boy may actually have vanished a month ago.
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On Tuesday night, investigators discovered a body stuffed in a tote bag inside a motel room in Jasper, some 135 miles northeast of Houston.
While the corpse is yet to be officially identified, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said he believes the remains belong to little Samuel and appeared to have been there for some time.
Samuel's father, Dalton Olson, told reporters earlier this week that Balboa had also since gone missing. He said he last saw her when they were handing out missing flyers together on Monday.
However, Finner said on Tuesday night that a suspect is in custody and being questioned over the boy's believed death. Sources told ABC13 that suspect is Balboa.
The police chief added that surveillance footage had been obtained showing who went in and out of the motel room.
It's now been revealed that just months before Samuel vanished, Olson sought a restraining order against Balboa, his fiancee, after she allegedly strangled him.
Balboa was charged with assaulting and "impeding [the] breath of the child's father in November 2020, Click2Houston reported.
Olson was granted a restraining order against her, barring Balboa from having any direct contact with him or his family members.
However, the couple said they have moved past their issues when speaking to reporters on Sunday, with Olson insisting "this is about Sam."
Olson added that Samuel wasn't around at the time of the choking incident.
He also insisted that he doesn't believe his fiancee is at fault.
"I feel like I'm having a bad dream that I can't wake up from," he said.
Balboa reported Samuel missing on May 27, having claimed the boy was taken by his biological mother and a man who she said she believed to be a police officer.
"I was going to take Sam to school when his mother showed up with the police officer, or who I was under the impression to be a police officer, and they demanded me to release Sam," Balboa told ABC13.
She said that because she doesn't have any legal rights to Samuel that she was forced to hand him over.
She also claimed the man with the boy's biological mom was carrying a gun, handcuffs and a Harris County Police badge but has reportedly been unable to describe any of his physical attributes to police.
Cops have so far been unable to verify her story and have said Samuel may have been missing for more than a month, with his last known sighting coming when he attended elementary school on April 30.
Samuel's mother, Sarah Olson, has also informed police that she does not know where her son is and reportedly hasn't seen him in a year.
An attorney for Sarah Olson told reporters that though she had primary custody she was denied for many months from seeing the child.
The attorney, Marco González, said Sarah hasn’t had access to Samuel since the last time she saw him in January 2020.
González said Balboa’s accusations implicating that she had something to do with her son’s disappearance is false, saying that there are “too many holes in that story.”
It has since emerged that Samuel may have been spotted at an apartment in Southeast Houston that belongs to a friend of Balboa.
While the date of that potential sighting is currently unclear, on Monday night police executed a search warrant at the apartment complex and impounded a black Dodge.
Olson told reporters that he and Balboa had "a routine" which saw Samuel predominantly stay with his partner.
When asked why, Olson said Balboa would help watch the boy because he didn't have a car and worked long hours in construction.
"I've literally tried to do everything from the very beginning to do what's best for my son," Olson said.
"That is my whole world and I can't imagine if anything happened to him and I believe he's still out there."
Volunteers with the non-profit search group Texas EquuSearch had joined the search for Samuel.
The group's founder Tim Miller said he "doesn't have a good feeling" about the case.
"I've worked many, many of these cases. I don't have a good feeling," he said. "Nobody can find out anybody that's credible that can tell us the last time he was seen and where."
Police are expected to give an update on the case on Wednesday.
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