Missing Child Found Dead in Washing Machine, Parents Questioned

Shallow depth of field image taken of yellow law enforcement line with police car and lights in the background.
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The search for a missing seven-year-old in the Houston, Texas, area ended when he was found dead inside a washing machine.

Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman identified the child as Troy Khoeler, noting the boy had been missing since 4:00 a.m. Thursday, KSAT reported.

“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,” the outlet said.

Constable deputies searched the house thoroughly, and just after 7:00 a.m., entered the garage. They found Troy dead inside a top-loading washing machine.

Video footage showed officials outside the home in Spring, and KHOU 11 reported the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) was investigating:

The child’s mother and father were seen being escorted to patrol vehicles, and the pair were taken for questioning, but at the time were not under arrest.

It was not clear if the boy climbed into the washing machine on his own, whether it was filled with water, or if the lid had been shut. In addition, authorities did not say if there were any indications of foul play in the case.

An HCSO official detailed what happened, saying once the child’s body was found, the house was secured and homicide investigators were called:

“What little information we have is the child was a foster child initially, and was possibly adopted in 2019,” he said, adding, “We don’t know what happened, but we intend to find out.”

Per the KSAT report, the cause of death had yet to be determined by the medical examiner.

Troy’s family reportedly had a history with Child Protective Services.

Meanwhile, the seven-year-old’s adoptive father claimed the front door was unlocked and his son missing when he returned home that night:

“I came home… I put my keys in the door and then the door opened. But anything else after that, I don’t know,” he said.

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