It has been reported that the adoptive parents of a 7-year-old Texas boy, who went missing and was found dead inside a washing machine, exchanged graphic text messages threatening to kill the boy.
According to KRIV-TV, Jermaine Thomas, 42, and Tiffany Thomas, 35, were charged in the death of their adopted son, Troy Koehler, who had gone missing in July and was found dead in a washing machine.
There is a charge of capital murder against Jermaine Thomas, and a charge of injury to a child by omission against Tiffany Thomas.
Koehler’s home was searched by Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputies after the Thomas family reported him missing after not seeing him since the night before.
Using a drone and dogs, authorities searched the residence for over an hour before a deputy discovered the young boy’s body at the bottom of a top-loading washing machine in the utility room.
During the deputy’s yelling for help and trying to see if Koehler was breathing, Jermaine Thomas rushed over and pulled Koehler out of the washer. Thomas was instructed by deputies to place Koehler on the floor so they could perform CPR while detaining both parents and removing them from the scene.
According to a deputy, Koehler’s clothes were damp and smelled of urine. His pants were pulled down to his knees and bruising was visible on his upper legs.
Having concluded that Koehler was unlikely to have been inside the machine during a wash cycle, a medical examiner ruled the incident a homicide.
Later, it was revealed that Child Protective Services had been notified multiple times by Koehler’s school due to injuries observed on his body, including black eyes and facial bruises.
Additionally, authorities found text messages between the parents that threatened to “put him in the stove and turn it on” if he did not confess to eating cookies without permission.
Jermaine Thomas allegedly texted Tiffany Thomas, “I’m going to end up killing him. You’re going to come home and he’ll be hanged out there.”.
“F— that I’m for not doing s— for his birthday,” Tiffany Thomas allegedly said in another text. “I’m so sick of this boy. Like I’m really tired of him and don’t want him in this house no more.”
Tiffany Thomas reportedly texted three days before Koehler went missing, “This boy got life f—ed up. Why I come out the restroom from taking my shower and his funky a– is in the living room watching TV.”
According to KTRK-TV, the Thomas’ adopted Koehler from foster care in 2019.
A $2 million bond was set for Jermaine Thomas, while a $150,000 bond was set for Tiffany Thomas.