THE five-year-old boy found dead in a Texas motel died from a blunt head trauma before his body was hidden in trash, according to an autopsy.
Samuel Olson died by homicidal violence officials said Wednesday – two days after his stepmom Theresa Balboa appeared in court for the first time in connection with his death.
The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Houston said: "The cause of his death is homicidal violence with blunt head trauma."
Balboa, 29, was seen wearing an orange jumpsuit and in handcuffs as she stood in court for less than 10 minutes on Monday.
She has been charged with evidence tampering and is currently behind bars in Harris County jail in Texas. Prosecutors plan additional charges.
During the hearing, her bond was increased from $500,000 to $600,000 on impending charges against the child's dad, Dalton Olson.
Samuel was first reported missing on May 27 by Balboa and his father, Dalton Olson, though police say he hasn't been seen publicly since April 30.
His body was found in a motel on June 1.
The youngster had been living with Balboa and not his biological parents at the time he went missing although it is not clear why.
Just months beforehe vanished, his father Dalton sought a restraining order against Balboa, his fiancee, after she allegedly strangled him.
Balboa had been living with pal Benjamin Rivera, who told cops she phoned him to tell him Samuel was dead, and begged for help hiding his body.
In court documents, he claims they put him in a bathtub at the apartment in Webster, where he remained for two days, before being transported to a storage unit nearby in a plastic bin.
Balboa's roommate Rivera said he raced out of work after she called him and returned home to find Samuel laying on the bed unresponsive, according to court documents.
He told police he noticed bruising on the child's body, according to prosecutors.
Then on May 13, he claims he bought duct tape and a plastic tote from Walmart and that he and Balboa wrapped Samuel's body in a plastic sheet, placed it into a tote bag, and put the body on the back of his truck.
They then drove to a storage unit in Webster, court documents say.
Police busted her at a Best Western Motel on June 1 in Jasper after a pal claimed he drove her there with a "foul-smelling bin" and later tipped off CrimeStoppers.
She had initially told cops weeks before that she had given Samuel back to his biological mother, Sarah Olson, when she showed up at her home with a man she believed to be a police officer.
Balboa said she last saw Samuel in the 8800 block of McAvoy Drive in Houston, Texas, telling KTRK: "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."
She continued that she had to hand over the child because she has no legal rights to him.
Houston Police Department Executive Assistant Larry Satterwhite confirmed that cops have not verified the version of events Balboa provided.
The boy's biological mother denied the claims and gave police a solid alibi of her whereabouts, saying she hadn't seen her son in weeks.
"I saw her [Balboa] on some news channel saying she had no chance when the mother came, she lied just like it was nothing," neighbor Tiffany told The Sun.
"And hugging Dalton the dad like everything would be okay, knowing what she did, it's crazy.
"Why not just call the cops to begin with, I don't understand."
Cops say they found a child's body inside a plastic container in the hotel room, with Balboa hiding in the bathroom.
After removing the lid of the bin, officers found a small body stuffed inside a black plastic bag that had been secured with duct tape.
The Sun earlier revealed she was allegedly planning to move the boy's body to another state when she was arrested by police.
In a motion of bail obtained, prosecutors cited Balboa to be a flight risk alleging that she was "on her way to Louisiana with [Samuel's] body" when she was apprehended.
Neighbor Tiffany Schultz, who lives next door with fiance Andrew and their newborn baby girl, moved in on May 11, the day after Samuel is believed to have died.
While his body was thought to have been slumped in the bathtub just metres away next door, Tiffany and her family were moving boxes into their home, ready to start a new chapter.
She recalled chilling details of bizarre noises heard from the apartment two days after Samuel was allegedly killed.
"My fiance saw them one time [Balboa and Rivera], but they never spoke," she exclusively told The Sun.
"The second day we were here, it was probably about 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning, we heard loud scratching noises, really, really loud."
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